My body is frozen. It will not move an inch. My lethargic state is preventing me from reaching my goal—walking 10,000 steps a day. Thanks to Fitbit’s step counting technology, it is now possible to determine exactly how lazy I really am. However, Jawbone is contesting Fitbit’s fitness tracking technology.

Jawbone filed suit in California state court last week, alleging that Fitbit stole trade secrets from the company. Jawbone maintains that Fitbit poached its employees and then enticed those employees to divulge confidential information. Specifically, Jawbone claims that Fitbit contacted thirty percent of its employees and encouraged them to leave Jawbone. Prior to leaving the company, Jawbone’s employees supposedly transferred information onto USB devices. Fitbit has responded to these allegations, writing: “As the pioneer and leader in the connected health and fitness market, Fitbit has no need to take information from Jawbone or any other company.”

The timing of such a lawsuit is curious as Fitbit is preparing for its initial public offering. Fitbit hoped the IPO would take advantage of the high demand for fitness trackers, but Jawbone’s recent move seems to be an unexpected obstacle. Will this lawsuit have an unwelcome effect on Fitbit’s success?

Robyn Taylor

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2 Responses to Jawbone Takes the Pep Out of Fitbit’s Step

  1. Cassidi Hammock says:

    It is weird to see how many people within the recent past have started to use the fitness trackers. It seems like step counters were big at one point, but now it is all about so much more than just the step count.

  2. Sara Hunter says:

    It will be interesting to see if this case actually plays out. It seems that whenever a company launches state of the art technology competing companies are right behind to claim it was stolen. Whether this has merit or not we will apparently find out now. But I can’t help by notice that filing such a suit puts Jawbone, a company I have never before heard of, on consumers’ radar. Maybe it is all just a marketing tactic?