Jawbone has been trying to sell itself off, a sign that things aren't going so well in paradise (if you don't count the departure of a top-level executive and the company's sale of its UP fitness band inventory), but the company has also been trying to gain money in other ways to stay afloat. One of those ways has been -- you guessed it -- filing a lawsuit against fitness wearable rival Fitbit. The issue behind the Jawbone lawsuit relates to Fitbit's hiring of former Jawbone employees, with Jawbone claiming that Fitbit hired former Jawbone employees to steal trade secrets.
Jawbone claimed that Fitbit had infringed on six patents, but those had been tossed out before Jawbone's lawsuit to the International Trade Commission (ITC) about Fitbit's interesting hires. Judge Dee Lord presiding over the lawsuit said that "no party has been shown to have misappropriated any trade secret." Fitbit won the lawsuit, with little evidence to substantiate Jawbone's claim. It seems as though Jawbone was simply angry behind Fitbit's hiring of former employees rather than angry for particular reasons of infringement.
As for Fitbit's response to it all, CEO James Park says that Jawbone is only suing them out of desperation: It's "nothing more than a desperate attempt by Jawbone to disrupt Fitbit's momentum to compensate for their own lack of success in the market," Park said.
At the end of the day, it does appear as though Jawbone has been grasping at straws. If there was any serious infringement or trade theft, Jawbone had an opportunity to press forward. The company missed a partner payment this month, and the money spent behind the nonsensical lawsuit against Fitbit could've been better spent to stay out of the red with a financial partner. This lawsuit is a victory for Fitbit, who already has more victories than it can stand, but it just goes to show that companies, like consumers, often have misplaced financial priorities.