Fitbit can keep operating in U.S. after judge rules it did not steal trade secrets

Fitbit Alta
It looks like you’ll still be able to buy Fitbit fitness trackers in the U.S. for the foreseeable future. Jawbone has failed to block Fitbit from operating in the U.S. after an International Trade Commission judge ruled that Fitbit has not stolen trade secrets from Jawbone.

In July of last year, Jawbone accused Fitbit of stealing trade secrets and classified information. If Fitbit had indeed stolen trade secrets, the ITC would have been able to block Fitbit from importing its products for sale in the U.S. In the end, the judge found that “no party has been shown to have misappropriated any trade secret.”

Jawbone alleged that Fitbit infringed on six patents and poached employees who were privy to confidential information about Jawbone’s business. That information included plans, supply chains, and technical details about Jawbone products. Two of the patents were eventually withdrawn from the suit; the four that remained were invalidated by the judge.

“We are pleased with the ITC’s initial determination rejecting Jawbone’s trade secret claims. We greatly appreciate the ALJ’s time and diligent work on this case, said Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Park in a statement. “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. 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.”

Of course, Jawbone doesn’t agree with this, and the case itself is far from over. In fact, Jawbone intends to seek review of the decision made by the courts. Here’s Jawbone’s full statement.

“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 has grown to be the largest make of wrist-based fitness trackers in the U.S., having sold a whopping 5.7 million devices in the second quarter of this year alone. Not being able to sell its products in the country would be a massive blow to its business. Of course, Jawbone, which makes the UP fitness trackers, isn’t a small company either. It has been losing market share of late — to the point that it is no longer in the top five fitness tracker manufacturers.

While Fitbit has won this particular battle, the war between the two companies may not be over. Jawbone won a separate trade case against Fitbit on July 19, when a judge found that three patents owned by Fitbit were invalid. Fibit has since asked the trade commission to review the ruling.

Updated on 08-24-2016 by Christian de Looper: Added full statement from both companies.

Product Review

Alienware brought a 55-inch OLED monitor to CES. We want it. You will too.

OLED has long alluded gaming monitors. But no longer. The Alienware 55 OLED Monitor matches the incredible visuals of OLED with variable refresh rates up to 120Hz. It’s pure gaming bliss.

Samsung's advanced folding phone needed 'total reconfiguration' to make it real

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.

Walmart slashes prices on the Fitbit Versa smartwatch and Charge 3

We are officially halfway through January, and for a lot of us, that means the struggle to stick to our New Year's resolutions is in full force. Walmart is offering some great discounts on Fitbits to help you stay on track.

Before buying a Fitbit or Apple Watch, check out these fitness trackers under $50

Fitbit and Apple Watch are top of the line when it comes to fitness trackers but if you want to save, we have alternatives. If 2019 is the year you keep track of your health and budget your expenses, then take a look at these fitness…
Emerging Tech

Muse’s Softband will help you meditate your way into a good night’s sleep

Muse has unveiled its first soft headband at CES 2019. The Softband allows users to listen to guided meditations in bed, and then keeps track of their sleep patterns while they get some shut-eye.
Smart Home

Slip on Soma’s smart bra and you may discover you’ve been wearing the wrong size

You might think you know your bra size, but it’s probably wrong. Instead of a tape measure, Soma wants you to try on its Somainnofit smart bra, which takes measurements at four points and has an app that recommends better-fitting bras.

The best CES 2019 health gadgets combat stress, pain, and more

We can all use some help with our health and CES 2019 was packed with intriguing devices designed to combat pain and stress, help you monitor blood pressure, reduce tinnitus, and care for the sick or elderly.

One night with this sensor on your head could change your sleep forever

Get past the fact you’ll be in bed with a sensor on your forehead, and the Beddr SleepTuner may be the first step in curing your sleep problems and improving your overall health.

Digital Trends Top Tech of CES 2019 Award Winners

5G. A.I. Voice assistants. Metaverse. Yes, metaverse. CES 2019 slathered on the buzzwords thick and heavy, but beneath the breathless hype and bluster, there were amazing products to back it up, too. Except metaverse. C’mon Nissan, you…

You'll soon be able to pay for goods with the Motiv smart ring

Remember Motiv's activity tracking smart ring? It's back with a raft of new features that adds biometric identification and token authentication, all on a device that fits on your finger.
Product Review

Mobvoi beefs up the battery on its affordable Ticwatch E2 and S2 Wear OS watches

Mobvoi is known to offer excellent, low-priced Wear OS smartwatches. At CES 2019, the company unveiled new entries into its Express and Sport range -- the Ticwatch E2 and Ticwatch S2.

Think this smartwatch doesn’t have a screen? Think again

This looks like a regular chronograph watch, but it holds a secret: It's really a smartwatch and even has a hidden screen, which is revealed only when you need it. We took a closer look at CES 2019.
Product Review

Garmin’s 4G LTE VivoActive 3 keeps you safe when you’re out on the trails

Garmin takes its already great VivoActive 3 Music fitness smartwatch and adds a 4G LTE connection, courtesy of Verizon. The watch now has streaming music, independent GPS, and best of all, SMS support and various safety features. We’ve…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!