The fat lady has sung. At least, in the case of the Fitbit versus Jawbone battle. Perhaps it was a Christmas miracle, or perhaps it was simply fatigue that led Fitbit to withdraw a year-old patent complaint asserting that Jawbone fitness trackers should be banned for import into the U.S. Actually, scratch that, we know exactly why Fitbit decided to give Jawbone a break this holiday season — its competitor just isn’t doing well financially.
Had Fitbit won its claim against Jawbone, it would have had the effect of ending the wearables’ sales. But to a large degree that has already happened — due to significant money problems, Jawbone has already stopped offering its fitness trackers on its website. “Jawbone appears to be a different company,” Fitbit said in its filing. “SEC filings of one of its biggest investors now value Jawbone shares as worth nothing, as well as indicate that Jawbone has filed for bankruptcy or is in default.”
So it’s not really that Jawbone has won, in this case, but that Fitbit no longer sees it as a worthy opponent. The filing continued, “[Jawbone] no longer offers for sale any of its wearable activity trackers, nor any of its other products. Press reports and other public documents indicate that the demise of Jawbone’s products has created substantial questions regarding Jawbone’s ability to continue to operate.”
As per a third quarter report from the IDC, Jawbone’s market share was negligible, whereas Fitbit sales comprised nearly a quarter of the market. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the fat lady has finished her song when it comes to Jawbone. Keep in mind that the company also manufactures other popular products, including speakers and headphones.
Jawbone has released a statement of its own regarding the latest development in its patent case with Fitbit:
“Fitbit has moved to drop its patent case against Jawbone, which had been set for trial in the International Trade Commission in March. By dismissing this action, Fitbit is no longer seeking to block importation of Jawbone devices, including Jawbone products in development. Jawbone believes this case — involving patents already found once to be invalid — should have been dismissed long ago by Fitbit. Fitbit’s pursuit of these baseless claims for so long was a burden to Jawbone — an issue to be raised in Jawbone’s antitrust claim against Fitbit. Jawbone’s trade secret case in California state court against Fitbit will move forward to a jury trial in 2017.”
So it’s still not over for Jawbone.