Fitbit Drops One Case Against Rival Jawbone


A Fitbit Blaze is unveiled before the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. Fitbit and its rival Jawbone have filed lawsuits against each other, claiming patent infringement and other unfair actions. Photo: david mcnew/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Fitbit Inc. is dropping one of its cases against rival AliphCom Inc.’s Jawbone, untangling some of the litigation between the wearable-device companies.

In a filing Friday, Fitbit said it had withdrawn its year-old complaint it had filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission, in which it had accused Jawbone of violating its patents. Fitbit said it wasn’t pursuing the complaint because it believes its rival is failing financially.

If Fitbit had prevailed, Jawbone would have been prevented from importing its wearable devices into the U.S. However, Jawbone has already stopped selling its devices on its website because of financial problems.

“Jawbone appears to be a different company,” Fitbit said in its filing, comparing it to when Fitbit filed its complaint last year. “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.”

Jawbone has no plans to file for bankruptcy, a spokesman for Jawbone said.

Fitbit didn’t respond to requests for comment.

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The two San Francisco companies make fitness trackers worn on users’ wrists and clothing that monitor activity. The patents in the case covered a heart-rate monitor and a system that monitors physical activity.

In July, a judge with the trade commission said the patents at the core of the case were invalid because they didn’t cover ideas that are eligible for protection.

“Jawbone believes this case—involving patents already found once to be invalid—should have been dismissed long ago by Fitbit,” the Jawbone spokesman said. “Fitbit’s pursuit of these baseless claims for so long was to burden Jawbone, an issue to be raised in Jawbone’s antitrust claim against Fitbit.”

The dispute is one of several lawsuits between the two companies. Earlier this year, a judge in a similar case invalidated patents that Jawbone said Fitbit had infringed upon.

Jawbone also sued Fitbit for patent infringement in California state court in 2015; a Jawbone spokesman said that case is scheduled for a jury trial in 2017. Fitbit has also sued Jawbone in courts in San Francisco and Wilmington, Del., for allegedly infringing its patents over the technology underpinning its devices. Those cases are pending.

Write to Georgia Wells at

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