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August 25, 2016

Judge rules Fitbit did not steal trade secrets from rival Jawbone

News: Jawbone plans to pursue a broader case against Fitbit in California state court.

By CBR Staff Writer

A US International Trade Commission (ITC) judge has ruled that Fitbit did not steal trade secrets from its rival Jawbone to make fitness devices.

Judge Sandra Dee Lord’s decision comes after an earlier termination of investigation into claims of patent infringement.

Judge Lord said that there had been no violation of the Tariff Act because “no party has been shown to have misappropriated any trade secret.”

If a violation of the act occurred, Fitbit may have been prohibited from importing its products into the US.

Jawbone, which created the revolutionary UP fitness tracker system, filed three lawsuits in 2015, claiming that Fitbit poached its employees to gain knowledge of its key trade secrets.

The company had initially sued both Fitbit and its manufacturing partner Flextronics for six counts of patent infringement, which had been dismissed by the ITC.

Last month, a judge terminated a countersuit by Fitbit against Jawbone.

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Fitbit said Jawbone’s allegations did not have any merit and were nothing more than a desperate attempt to disrupt its momentum to compensate for their own lack of success in the market.

Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Park said: “We are pleased with the ITC’s initial determination rejecting Jawbone’s trade secret claims.

“Our customers can be assured that we remain fully committed to creating innovative products that consumers love, and that we are excited about the pipeline of new products coming out this year.”

Jawbone said it will ask the commission to review Lord’s findings and plans to pursue a broader case against Fitbit in California state court.

A Jawbone spokeswoman said: "Jawbone is confident it will prevail when the full scope of its claims is heard by the jury.”

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