Jun 11, 2015

Jawbone Targets Fitbit Again

Jawbone has filed a second legal complaint against its rival Fitbit in California, this time for patent infringement. In the suit Jawbone has accused Fitbit of infringing three of its patents.  This news comes just weeks after Jawbone filed a suit against Fitbit alleging that the company had poached Jawbone staff and stolen its commercially sensitive as we previously reported.  It seems as though this is an escalation of the internecine battle between the rival wearable fitness tracking companies.

In response to the filing of the suit Fitbit said it would "vigorously defend" itself against the allegations.

A Jawbone spokesperson said: "An extensive review revealed that Fitbit's wearables infringed on our patents.  In order to protect our investment in products and technology, we felt we had no choice but to take this action."

In the complaint, Jawbone has claimed that it spent more than $100m in research and development of its products over the last two years.

The company said that "Fitbit's acts of infringement" had damaged the company and that it was "entitled to recover from Fitbit the damages they have sustained as a result of Fitbit's wrongful acts in an amount subject to proof at trial".

Fitbit said: "As the pioneer and leader in the connected health and fitness market, Fitbit has independently developed and delivered innovative product offerings to empower its customers to lead healthier, more active lives.

"Since its inception, Fitbit has more than 200 issued patents and patent applications in this area. Fitbit plans to vigorously defend itself against these allegations."

It is worth noting that Fitbit is due to list on the New York Stock Exchange later this month, hoping to raise $358m from the IPO.  The timing of Jawbone's attacks would appear to be an attempt to derail these plans or at the very least cause substantial damage to their rival so that they are unable raise the level of funds they desire.

in: Digital/Tech, News, Patents

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