Wearable tracking-device makers Jawbone and Fitbit seem to be headed the Samsung and Apple way of lawsuits.
Jawbone has filed yet another case against rival Fitbit, alleging that the latter infringed the former's patent, which includes a "wellness application using data from a data-capable band."
The lawsuit was filed by AliphCom – Jawbone's parent company – on Wednesday, June 10, at a U.S. District Court in San Francisco. This is its second lawsuit against Fitbit in just two weeks. Jawbone is seeking an injunction to halt the sale of Fitbit's fitness trackers. In the court documents, Jawbone noted that it had shelled out over $100 million in R&D and had several hundred patents.
Earlier, in a lawsuit filed on May 28 at the San Francisco Superior Court, Jawbone alleged that Fitbit had poached five of its employees who stole intellectual property belonging to the company.
"This case arises out of the clandestine efforts of Fitbit to steal talent, trade secrets and intellectual property from its chief competitor," said Jawbone lawyers at the time.
Fitbit denied the charges and said it would fight off the allegations.
Now Jawbone says it will forward its grievances to the International Trade Commission. If Jawbone is successful in its plea, then Fitbit components and products could possibly face a ban in the U.S.
Fitbit revealed to the Wall Street Journal that it intends to "vigorously defend itself against these allegations."
"Fitbit has no need to take information from Jawbone or any other company. We are unaware of any confidential or proprietary information of Jawbone in our possession," stated the company.
Fitbit maintains that it has created and delivered novel product offerings on its own steam. The company has over 200 patent applications and patents.
Fitbit – which makes sleep monitors, pedometers and heart-rate monitors – is embroiled in the legal tussle with rival Jawbone as it prepares for its IPO next week. Fitbit is not new to controversy, as in a separate issue, the company's Fitbit Charge reportedly caused some users to experience skin rashes.
If Jawbone's plea is successful, then Fitbit will have a tough time keeping afloat in the highly competitive wearable space — unless the two companies reach an out-of-court settlement.