ITC rules Fitbit did not steal trade secrets from Jawbone

The International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled in favour of Fitbit and found the fitness wearable tracker not in violation of stealing rival fitness tracker Jawbone’s trade secrets.

The ruling means that Jawbone will not be able to prevent Fitbit from importing its devices.

Jawbone also accused Fitbit of a number of other violations patent infringement as well as poaching its own employees.

The fitness tracker device market has grown significantly over the last few years. Fitbit reportedly nearly had 25 per cent of the global market Q1 2016 whilst Jawbone has struggled to replicate the same success despite its early introduction to the marketplace.

A spokesperson for Jawbone said the company intends to challenge the ITC’s ruling, and said: "We intend to seek review of today’s ruling before the full Commission.

The case in the ITC involved a very small subset of Jawbone’s trade secrets asserted against Flextronics and Fitbit because of the limited jurisdiction of the ITC. Jawbone is continuing to pursue its much broader trade secret case against Fitbit, which is headed to a jury trial in California state court.

The California court already has granted a preliminary injunction and rejected Fitbit’s efforts to dismiss the case. Jawbone is confident it will prevail when the full scope of its claims is heard by the jury."

Fitbit’s ceo James Park made a statement to Business Insider in regards to the outcome of the case saying: "We are pleased with the ITC’s initial determination rejecting Jawbone’s trade secret claims,"

We greatly appreciate the ALJ’s [administrative law judge’s] time and diligent work on this case. From the outset of this litigation, we have maintained that Jawbone’s allegations were utterly without merit and nothing more than a desperate attempt by Jawbone to disrupt Fitbit’s momentum to compensate for their own lack of success in the market." 

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