Fitbit faces trial over Jawbone suit
NEW YORK: Fitbit Inc is headed towards a trial over claims it stole rival Jawbone’s trade secrets, after failing to persuade a judge to throw the case out.
A California state judge on Friday rejected Fitbit’s argument that the suit is an attempt to rehash claims that were already analysed and rejected by the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington in October.
The jurisdiction of the court was of a “much broader scope” than the trade agency, said San Francisco Superior Court judge Richard Ulmer on Friday.
The two pioneers in wearable activity trackers have been embroiled in legal battles since 2015, when Jawbone accused Fitbit of plundering employees and critical proprietary information.
Jawbone said it was pleased the court did not let Fitbit escape liability for its conduct.
In the tentative ruling issued at Friday’s hearing, Ulmer said the ITC proceeding did not reach conclusions about trade secret claims, adding the agency did not consider whether Jawbone was entitled to monetary damages. Bloomberg