Jan 11, 2017

Fitbit alleges trade mark infringement

US technology fitness company Fitbit has filed a lawsuit at the US District Court for the Northern District of California against several defendants.   The defendants include Laguana LLC and Joel Blank, the remainder were unnamed.

Fitbit produce activity trackers and wireless technology devices that can measure things like the number of steps the user takes and the user's heart rate. They sell over 2 billion dollars of health and fitness wearable products every year and have used the mark Fitbit since 2009.

Fitbit have argued that the defendants diluted and infringed their trade marks by using Fitbit's products in counterfeit packaging.   The counterfeit products had originally been manufactured by Fitbit but did not meet Fitbit's quality control requirements and were not intended for sale.

The defendants repackaged the products and sold them through online retailers such as Groupon and e-bay as "refurbished" genuine Fitbit products.

The defendants were given notice of Fitbit's objections but ignored the complaint and instead expanded their business. Fitbit believe that thousands of the counterfeit products were returned and have provided the Court with evidence of customer reviews complaining about the quality of the products.

Fitbit own a number of US trademark registration for the mark 'Fitbit' and their diamond-shaped logo. The marks cover electronic goods including electronic devices and software for fitness tracking information.  The defendants have used Fitbit's marks on their packaging and as a result have confused customers into believing that the products are associated with Fitbit.

Fitbit have complained that not only have they lost the opportunity to sell their products to hundreds of thousands of consumers, but that the defective products have affected their reputation. Fitbit has requested a permanent injunction, triple damages, statutory damages, costs and a trial by jury. This will be an interesting case to keep an eye on.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

in: News, Trade Marks

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