In the past several months, electronics manufacturer Jawbone has sued Fitbit three times. The companies have developed comparable fitness trackers and are competing for the same customers in the “wearable” market. Most recently, the claims allege that Fitbit illegally stole Jawbone’s trade secrets by poaching employees. Jawbone has asked the International Trade Commission to prohibit future imports of Fitbit’s products as a result. This lawsuit comes on the heels of previous claims that Fitbit tried to steal Jawbone’s business plans. A patent infringement case has also been filed.
It is worthwhile to note, for business owners, the importance of dealing appropriately with competitors. In an industry that is as fierce as the wearables market is today, it seems logical that competing manufacturers will scratch and claw for every advantage possible. However, crossing over the line is still a no-no.