A spokesperson from Fitbit has approached FindBiometrics with the company’s official statement regarding Valencell’s lawsuit allegations described in the article below. It is as follows (-PBC):
“As the pioneer and leader in the connected health and fitness market, Fitbit has independently developed and delivered innovative product offerings to empower its customers to lead healthier, more active lives. Since its inception, Fitbit has more than 200 issued patents and patent applications in this area. Fitbit plans to vigorously defend itself against these allegations.”
Fitness-tracking technology specialist Valencell has filed lawsuits against Apple and Fitbit, both of which are accused of infringing on its technological patents. Both companies are alleged to have schemed independently to gain particular knowledge of Valencell technology without actually licensing it.
Fitbit’s accused plotting appears to have been the less complex, with a Fitbit executive allegedly having expressed interest in Valencell technology at CES 2014 and the company subsequently having launched products infringing on Valencell patents soon after. Apple, meanwhile, is accused of something more like industrial espionage, with members of that company’s leadership having met with Valencell staff to discuss integration of its PerformTek technology into Apple products, and Apple agents allegedly downloading Valencell whitepapers using aliases, during the time that Apple was working on its Apple Watch, which is now alleged to be infringing on Valencell patents.
It isn’t the first time Apple has been accused of somewhat underhanded business practices, and if the allegations are true they amount to serious abuses against Valencell, which makes its money through licensing its technology to other product developers. On the other hand, the lawsuits happen to come at a time when Valencell is marketing its prepackaged wearables development kit, and they could help to highlight to potential Valencell clients that big names like Apple and Fitbit have themselves been interested in integrating the company’s technology into their products.
January 5, 2016 – by Alex Perala