Many Texas residents have heard about or use wearable fitness trackers on their wrists or clothing. These devices are designed to help people get into -- and stay in -- shape. Two of the leading manufacturers of these products are Fitbit and Jawbone. Fitbit has filed patent law claims against Jawbone, which recently filed its own lawsuit against Fitbit, saying that the patent infringement claims are without merit.
The competition between these two companies is intense. In 2014, over 21 million of the fitness tracking devices were sold. That is approximately triple the sales in 2013. Both companies are working to secure their positions in the market -- especially since Apple Inc. has entered into the market with its Apple Watch.
Therefore, Fitbit is looking to protect its patents from being used by any other company, including Jawbone. Fitbit says it has valid claims against Jawbone, and that Jawbone filed its lawsuit in an attempt to hide the fact that it is not performing as projected. Ultimately, it is not up to Jawbone to say whether Fitbit's claims are unfounded. That will be up to the court.
There is a real possibility that a Texas company that files patent law claims against a competitor could end up facing a counterclaim as well. This should not dissuade the company from filing its suit. If the Texas company believes another party infringed upon its patents, the fear of retaliatory lawsuits should not be a factor in going forward with a claim. All of the smoke and mirrors available will most likely be unable to cloud the truth when the evidence shows patent infringement.
Source: MarketWatch, "Jawbone files antitrust claim against rival Fitbit", Jack Nicas, Nov. 2, 2015