The Jawbone/Fitbit ugliness appears to be continuing on unabated, even the rival fitness companies work to deal with their own financial struggles and concerns around the health of the wearable market at large. The companies have been batting suits back and forth at least since mid-2015, primarily dealing with issues of intellectual proprietary and trade secrets – the sort of charges rival manufacturers often volley back and forth.
The war seemed to have cooled slightly just ahead of Christmas when Fitbit dropped one case, citing its rivals financial struggles, which we recently highlighted in a piece about the company’s planned pivot. But in a new court filing, Jawbone suggests that its chief competitor is currently under investigation by a grand jury over trade secret theft.
The criminal investigation has been on-going for five months, according to claims found in the 27-page Jawbone filing. Fitbit, for its part, has naturally called the allegations fiction, adding that they’re essentially a rehash of charges that the ITC turned over in October.
For its part, Fitbit has dealing with its own financial issues of late. Late last month the dominant player in the fitness wearable space announced that it was cutting six-percent of its staff as a result of a disappointing Q4, though the company is pushing forward, making acquisitions and looking to build a new smartwatch.
Fitbit was even rumored to be mulling purchase of Jawbone in the lead up to its dropping of the suit, though according to our sources, those talks were fairly low-level.