The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled three Fitbit patents are invalid in the company's case against Jawbone.
Judge Thomas Pender said the ITC's investigation should be terminated in its entirety, according to the ITC docket entry posted on Tuesday. Ponder's ruling is confidential and not available for public viewing. A trial was scheduled to begin August 4.
"This case, among other patent actions, was brought improperly by Fitbit in an attempt to burden Jawbone with having to defend invalid patents in multiple venues," Jawbone said in a statement to Club Industry. "Jawbone's case against Fitbit before the ITC is still pending, and the company awaits a decision. It asserts infringement of Jawbone's trade secrets. Jawbone's trade secret action against Fitbit in California state court continues to move toward trial."
U.S. ITC Judge Thomas Pender ruled the patents do not cover ideas eligible for protection, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the ruling.
“As the pioneer and leader in the connected health and fitness market, Fitbit has developed and delivered innovative product offerings to empower its customers to lead healthier, more active lives," a Fitbit spokesperson said in a statement to Club Industry. "Since its inception, Fitbit has more than 300 issued patents and patent applications in this area. While we are disappointed in the administrative law judge’s decision, we believe we have a strong legal basis to ask the full Commission to reverse it. Fitbit will continue to assert its IP against Jawbone as appropriate to protect the innovations central to our product offerings.”
The two wearable fitness tracker manufacturers have filed claims against each other with the ITC to ban imports to the U.S. consumer market. A summary of the legal battles between the two companies can be read at The Motley Fool.
Update: This story was updated Thursday afternoon with Fitbit's statement.