Apple draws ire from Aussie startup for HealthKit name grab

​An Australian startup has been left 'shocked and disappointed' after discovering that Apple has used its company name for a new feature on iOS 8.

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Apple announced a new HealthKit feature for iOS 8 at WWDC. Tim Stevens/CNET

An Australian startup called HealthKit is fighting Apple for taking its name (including the same spelling and stylised capitals) to brand a new feature on iOS 8. Apple's HealthKit was announced at WWDC 2014 this week, and will allow iOS 8 users to view all their health data from Apple-connected wearables on one central app hub.

Despite registering the HealthKit name more than two years ago, the startup's managing director Alison Hardacre said she wasn't alerted to the news until 4:30 a.m. Australian time, after the conference announcement had taken place.

"We've been really disappointed about what's happened," Hardacre said in a video message on HealthKit's Twitter feed (which she begrudgingly admitted was filmed on an iPhone).

"We were so shocked when we got up in the morning and discovered Apple executives standing on stage, with an icon behind them with our name on it. But what's more disappointing is that they didn't contact us before and they haven't contacted us since.

"We first launched HealthKit.com two years ago, just after we'd bought the domain," she added. "We've grown really big in Australia and now we're building in other countries around the world including Canada, UK and the US. This has thrown everything up in the air.

"I'd like to think that [Apple] forgot to spend five seconds and type www.healthkit.com into their browser. But other people have said that possibly they did, and thought that we were just a startup and they could really just squash us."

Hardacre has called on Apple to contact to the Australian HealthKit team, and has also called on the company's Twitter followers to "tell Apple's CEO [Tim Cook] exactly how you feel" via Twitter.

Apple has been contacted for comment.

 

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