Fitbit is on the verge of going public after recently releasing three new high quality trackers while Jawbone's newest UP3 launched with critical reviews after a six month delay in its release.
Today, we read the news that one competitor is suing the other and if the allegations prove true, both companies may have lost some fans.
Fitbit just recently filed for an IPO while Jawbone may have recently received a $300 million loan. Fitbit is the Kleenex of the wearable market and is the brand that most people associate with fitness trackers.
According to the court document, a Fitbit employee acknowledged poaching Jawbone employees. The complaint states that Fitbit recruiters contacted nearly one-third of Jawbone's employees and some of those employees left Jawbone for Fitbit.
While this may be part of an aggressive business strategy, other claims in the filing state that those Jawbone employees took confidential information with them when they left.
This case arises out of clandestine efforts of Fitbit to steal talent, trade secrets, and intellectual property from its chief competitor, Jawbone.
Jawbone is seeking financial damages and relief from the court to prevent the former employees from using information they took from Jawbone.
Fitbit issued the following statement:
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. Since Fitbit's start in 2007, our employees have developed and delivered innovative product offerings to empower our customers to lead healthier, more active lives. We are unaware of any confidential or proprietary information of Jawbone in our possession and we intend to vigorously defend against these allegations.
I have used products from both companies in the past with every single UP device failing at least once. Given Jawbone's recent launches and possible financial issues, this may be an indication of a desperate move on its part. I would be surprised if Fitbit was this open about taking things from Jawbone, but we will have to wait and see how things shake out in the courtroom.