Apple’s ‘HealthKit’ stuns Aussie startup: ‘Huh, that’s our name?!’

“Apple Inc.’s big move into health care, dubbed HealthKit, has surprised a smaller health-focused startup in Australia that uses the same name,” Benjamin Pimentel reports for MarketWatch.

“Apple’s HealthKit, which is geared to helping developers come up with a new generation of health-focused apps, has generated a lot of excitement, especially among health professionals,” Pimentel reports. “But as news of Apple’s rollout at its Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco spread across the world, the tech giant’s health-care push left a health-informatics firm stunned.”

“‘I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and turned to my Apple iPhone to check my emails,’ a HealthKit executive said in a blog post. ‘Someone had emailed me to ask whether Apple stomped all over your name or did we do a secret deal with them. Huh?!’ The blog post continued: “Apple liked our HealthKit idea so much that they have used our name and launched a new product called HealthKit,'” Pimentel reports. “But the company executive added: ‘HealthKit is already in use, by us! … As an Apple fan, I feel let down. … Are they so big that they are above doing an ordinary Google search?'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The desperate publicity seeking stunt loses whatever zing it’s intended to have when it’s pointed out that Apple’s “HealthKit” is really a suite of developer tools for integrating health data into apps, not a “product” per se.

Apple’s HealthKit is a framework, not a product.

The closest thing (so far) to an announced health-related “product” from Apple, is their forthcoming holistic data-gathering app, free with iOS 8 (also free), that’s called, simply, “Health.”


  1. MDN, don’t try to justify Apple’s behavior. Apple picked the name it wanted, regardless of prior use by a smaller company. Apple will go after the name “HealthKit” just like it went after the name “iPhone” from companies already having it trademarked. It’s just a matter of money, and Apple has plenty, especially internationally.

    1. Apple has been using the “Kit” suffix for many years. The use of HealthKit is simply an extension of that. These are frameworks, not products, as MDN pointed out. The startup should’ve done better research before choosing their name.

      1. “The startup should’ve done better research before choosing their name.”

        I can understand suggesting that Apple isn’t infringing on their trademark for a variety of reasons, but you’re seriously suggesting that back in 1998, HealthKit should have chosen a different name because Apple would later start using the kit suffix???

    2. “they have used our name and launched a new product called HealthKit” Just Dumb. It is not a product. People will not know which API Kits are used to build an App.
      UIKit, WebKit, TextKit
      SpriteKit, SceneKit,
      HomeKit, CloudKit
      A load of B S trying to get attention for a company people have never heard of.

    3. MDN is as ass! Apple does no wrong in their eyes. I’m a fan but Jesus wrong is wrong. Apple does whatever it wants to do. The should pay the startup for the name if they use it, suite of tools or other, ridiculous MDN

      1. @rob

        ‘I’m a fan but Jesus wrong is wrong.’

        i refer you to exodus 20:3,

        “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”

  2. I’ll wager (from personal experience) that Apple had trademarked that name 12-18 months ago, if not longer, in some offshore place that only has a paper trademark registry that isn’t searchable via the Internet. The Aussie company may have done due diligence if they trademarked their name at all, but if they didn’t visit said island country, they’d have never found it. Apple will then legally transfer their trademark rights to their US corporation when they can/need to. Plus, as MDN pointed out, there is a clear distinction between the two so trademark conflict may not be an issue.

    1. Trademarks don’t work that way. Healthkit isn’t registered nor has it been applied for in the US. You can’t hide a trademark in another country other than to register it in a country that would then block other companies from using it in that specific country.

      The Australian company hasn’t applied for a trademark in the US, nor in Australia.

      I can’t speak for Australia, but in the US you have some degree of trademark protection even if you haven’t even applied for a trademark. If you’ve been using it as a company name, product or service (Service Mark), and it would otherwise qualify as a trademark (or SM), then you have protected use for that name. has been doing business in the US and around the world since 1998, and given the nature of the name, they’ve most likely got protected use even without a registered trademark in the US and many other countries.

      The defense for Apple would be that Apple’s use is as an non-trademarked “Health” as a prefix to a “Kit” suffix as used to describe a developer’s kit and not a product or service. The app itself is just Health.

  3. I believe HealthKit is the name for a tool kit developers use to build apps, not a commercial product for sale. So, what’ stage issue? The Aussie company can’t claim it’s losing sales.

    1. I thought the same when MicroSquish came out with their .NET framework. What about all those people with .NET domain names?! They should sue! But your argument is correct – it shouldn’t ultimately matter. But, then, neither should Apple Corp/Records, yet the Beatles held out long enough. 😛

  4. This company clearly lacks basic business skills.

    Since when does stuff showing up in a Google search count as intellectual property? Or company names count as trademarks?

    A search in the Australian trademark database however shows no trademarks registered for “healthkit”. Maybe they should have thought of that if they wanted to protect the name so much.

    Surprised that journalists don’t know this either, or maybe they develop deep amnesia after finding some angle where they can paint Apple in bad light, facts be damned.

  5. I was thinking before the WWDC that all the scumbag trolls would start getting their paperwork together to start up the lawsuits. You can’t win anymore when there’s a multi-million industry behind suing Apple.

  6. Did they trademark the name?

    Clearly, they cannot rely on the notion that their use of the term “Healthkit” is already in pervasive use by them and is easily recognizable as their exclusive term and thus they have de facto control over that name.

    Apple has a history of using — and paying for — names that have been trademarked by others. You have to look no further than Apple paying $1 million for the right to use the term “Classic” with the Mac.

    A small company with an obscure usage of a specific term that has not properly trademarked the term is just out of luck. Under those circumstances Apple has complete right to use the term too.

  7. has been around for a very long time.

    There service is to keep patient records. A bit ironic.

    Apple has HealthKit, a series of APIs which allow third parties to create, for personal management, a single patient’s health record.

    It’s as if Apple creates a library of knowledge on how to grow food and produce raw materials, and call it BettyCrocker. The irony here, with those tools you can turn around a bake a cake…

    I am not calling fowl. I just think it’s funny as anything. Some things just make sense. I believe it’s not on purpose.

    WHOIS information for**

    Whois Server Version 2.0
    Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now be registered
    with many different competing registrars. Go to
    for detailed information.
    Domain Name: HEALTHKIT.COM
    Registrar: WEBFUSION LTD.
    Whois Server:
    Referral URL:
    Name Server: NS.123-REG.CO.UK
    Name Server: NS2.123-REG.CO.UK
    Status: ok
    Updated Date: 02-jun-2014
    Creation Date: 15-jul-1998
    Expiration Date: 14-jul-2019

  8. Awwww did the poor Anustralian company get a new hole ripped open. Don’t worry I’m sure Ho Ho Holden is happy with the service and will remain healthy until they die, which is just a few years away thank goodness. Next time maybe they will try some truth in advertising and name their company HealthUnlessUISALoudmouthBloodYanKit but I highly doubt it, it goes against their culture of con and hatred.

      1. My opinions come for the years I’ve had to endure them over there. You are free to believe that or not. I’ll certainly grant you that there is a lot I don’t know about them. It’s kind of hard to want to get to know anyone when they greet you with attacks, verbal abuse and insults with their LOUD MOUTH YANK hatred.

      1. That’s a great request, I’ll do that tit for tat. You get those Anustralians to stay away and never come back. I’ll do the same, happily so. Of course I’m just one person, you’ll have a lot of OY OI OINK to get rid of.
        Plus where would they all go, unless you totally eradicate them someone would be Ho Ho Holden the bag.

        1. You’ve finally lost your mind! What unintelligible crap.

          And I won’t stay away from anywhere, especially not Canada. Beautiful country, fantastic mountains and lovely people. See you in January!

  9. Even if has a trademark in the US, their mark is quite descriptive. With descriptive marks, there is a fair use defense in TM law for terms that are used in their ordinary sense. Assuming Apple is not us the term “Healthkit” as a trademark, they might well qualify for this defense.

  10. Of course it’s unintelligible crap to you, and from what I’ve seen down under so is counting to 10.

    It’s called being a bully. You say “Please stay away, we don’t want you back!” and I reply yes, that I will if you stay away if you stay away.

    Like the bully that you are, you can dish it out but you can’t take it. The very thought of someone telling you to stay away from something results in you replying ” I won’t stay away from anywhere” and going on that I’ve lost my mind, making it obvious to me that you never had one in the first place.

    And by all means, come to Canada, unlike Anustralia the people are lovely here as you’ve been able to point out, you’ll have a great time, and the scenery is great. As I’ve said before leaving that island and getting to see the world broadens the horizons and is a vital step in eradicating the vile and putrid Anustralian lack of culture., so invite and bring as many Anustralians with you.

      1. Oh yeah you Anushole, easy. I’m still here. Watcha going to do about it bully?

        Come over and drink our beer? Come on go ahead, it will do you go to be exposed and learn some civilized manners.

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