Apple again seeks dismissal of $800 million COVID app lawsuit

Nhs Contact Tracing
Nhs Contact Tracing (Image credit: NHSX)

What you need to know

  • Apple is again seeking to have an $800 million lawsuit over the rejection of a COVID tracking app dismissed.
  • Apple says that a newly-updated complaint has no more merit than the original suit does.
  • The developer of the app Coronavirus Reporter says there was no good reason for Apple's rejection save that Apple had its own technology in the pipeline.

Apple has filed to have a freshly updated complaint dismissed in an ongoing lawsuit over the rejection of a COVID-19 tracking app.

As reported by Law360:

Apple urged a New Hampshire federal court to dismiss a retooled complaint from the developer of a coronavirus-tracking app accusing the technology giant of violating antitrust law by keeping the app from its store, saying it did not seek the court's permission for five new plaintiffs to file anonymously.In a 26-page filing made public Tuesday, Apple argued that Coronavirus Reporter's revised $800 million lawsuit repeated the same allegations made in the original complaint filed in January, that the developer erroneously added five unnamed apps purporting to be plaintiffs, and copied and pasted claims from at least three other pending antitrust cases against the company in the Northern District of California.

Apple was sued at the turn of the year over claims it rejected the app from former NASA cardiologist Robert Roberts, whom the report describes as the inventor of the "gold-standard test" for detecting heart attacks.

Apple reportedly rejected the app because it had made a decision to only accept apps from "recognized institutions such as government, hospital, insurance company, NGO, or a university", stating Coronavirus Reporter lacked "deeply rooted medical credentials".

Apple tried to get the same case dismissed last month, and in this latest filing says the newly-updated lawsuit has no more merit than the original.

The plaintiffs, for their part, allege that the only reason Apple rejected the app in March of last year was that "it had its own application in the pipeline", presumably a reference to the exposure notification API jointly developed by Apple and Google for use in building apps that can track and limit the spread of the virus through contact tracing.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9