Many Texas residents use wristbands made by Apple, Inc., or Fitbit, Inc. The devices contain technology that a company called Valencell claims is being used without its permission. As a result, the company recently filed a patent law case against the two companies alleging that they infringed on Valencell's patents.
The company develops wearable biometric data sensor technology. In order to be able to continue focusing on research and development work, the company partnered with several electronics manufacturers and companies that create electronics for consumers. With the popularity of wearable biometric technology, Valencell claims that companies like Apple and Fitbit used its patented technology without obtaining a license for the use.
The patents the two companies are accused of using without permission are for monitoring the physiological data of the wearer and the associated systems and methods. Valencell alleges that it approached Fitbit in 2009, and both companies were at a conference in 2014, at which time Fitbit would most likely have been aware of Valencell's patented technology. The complaint against Apple, on the other hand, alleges that the much larger company feigned interest in partnering with Valencell so it could see the smaller company's technology and copy it.
Valencell is seeking both economic and non-economic damages just as any Texas patentholder would be able to request. The company is requesting injunctions, both preliminary and permanent. against both Apple and Fitbit to stop them from continuing to use the technology it believes is protected by patent law. The company is also requesting that the court make a determination that the infringement was not accidental, but willful, which could entitle it to enhanced damages under federal law.
Source: ipwatchdog.com, "Developer of biometric wearable technology sues Apple, Fitbit for patent infringement", Gene Quinn, Jan. 7, 2016