Jawbone sues Fitbit over ‘systematic plundering’ of company secrets

Jawbone has filed a lawsuit against Fitbit, claiming the rival smartband maker is guilty of ‘systematically plundering’ confidential information.

According to the suit, Fitbit hired Jawbone employees who downloaded sensitive information before leaving the company.

“This case arises out of the clandestine efforts of Fitbit to steal talent, trade secrets, and intellectual property from its chief competitor,” Jawbone’s lawyers wrote in the complaint.

The complaint details how Fitbit has seemingly been aggressively poaching Jawbone employees.

It’s alleged that Fitbit contacted just short of a third of the company’s staff earlier this year.

Some of the employees contacted left Jawbone, but purportedly downloaded information on Jawbone’s business plans and future products first.

Those individuals used thumb drives to download files and used programs to cover their tracks or deleted system logs,” an NY Times report claims.

The complaint cites one particular employee, Ana Rosaria, who was hired by Fitbit on April 16.

However, Rosaria reportedly declined to inform Jawbone she was leaving the company until April 22.

On April 20, Rosaria is alleged to have met with Jawbone’s product management lead to discuss future plans, and downloaded a ‘playbook’ on future products.

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Fitbit has since released a statement on the suit, which reads as follows: “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 company first launched into the activity tracker industry eight years ago, while Jawbone was later to market, unveiling the UP in 2011.

The statement continued: “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.”

Jawbone is seeking financial damages from Fitbit, claiming the debacle has cost the company ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’.