Category: Intellectual Property

Philadelphia Business Lawyers: Jawbone v. Fitbit Intellectual Property Case

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For many hi-tech companies, their intellectual property is their greatest business asset. In the digital age, it is easy for employees who leave one company to download much of an original company’s trade secrets and other intellectual property and then give it to another company. One such case where that conduct is alleged is the case of Jawbone vs. Fitbit.

The Facts of the Case

The Jawbone v. Fitbit California case involves two companies that provide health care products. The lawsuit was filed in California state court just after Fitbit filed for a public offering. Fitbit is a company that provides technical devices that track and help manage a person’s medical status. Many of Fitbit’s devices are worn to monitor physical activity. The Jawbone Company has shifted its product line from cellphone headsets and wireless speakers, to wearable trackers including a series of successful devices called Up.

Jawbone claims that Fitbit contacted a third of Jawbone employees about working for Fitbit. Some of the Jawbone employees are alleged to have downloaded and given Fitbit valuable Jawbone company information. In one example, the Jawbone complaint alleges that a Jawbone employee knew they were leaving but stayed on at Jawbone just in time to discuss the future business plans of the company and then downloaded the Jawbone company playbook. Another Jawbone employee who left for Fitbit is alleged to have emailed confidential company information to his personal email address, which is against Jawbone company policy.

Fitbit admits that it took company employees from Jawbone, but denies that these employees took Jawbone intellectual property and denies that Fitbit got this information illegally. Fitbit claims that all its innovations come through their own innovation and research.

Although reports reveal that Jawbone has struggled financially, the company claims its financial health is strong and the demand for its products is great. Jawbone seeks financial damages and for Fitbit to be enjoined from using any information obtained from the employees who formerly worked for Jawbone.

Philadelphia Business Lawyers at the Law Office of Sidkoff, Pincus and Green handle Business and Commercial Litigation in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia trial lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green have been helping business clients in Philadelphia and nationwide since 1958. Our commercial contract attorneys know how hard individuals and companies work to develop their intellectual property and to protect their trade secrets. We are experienced litigators skilled in filing suit to stop illegal activity, compensate the business that was wronged, and punish the wrongdoer. Call our intellectual property law firm in Philadelphia today at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to discuss how business assets can be protected.

Our office is conveniently located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania allowing us to handle business matters throughout the Delaware Valley.

Philadelphia Commercial Lawyers: Angie’s List Sues Amazon

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Angie’s List, a US-based paid subscription supported website containing crowd-sourced reviews of local businesses, has sued Amazon Local alleging theft of intellectual property. All together, the federal lawsuit suit levels a whole host of charges against Amazon, including misappropriation of trade secrets, theft, computer trespass, civil conspiracy and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. According to the complaint, Angie’s List alleges that Amazon Local executives stole provider lists by signing up as members of the Angie’s List sight and copying provider profiles, member reviews, and other important proprietary information.

Angie’s List was founded in 1995 to create a national listing of home repair providers and other businesses where members that paying members can browse through and evaluate. In 2014, the company reported nearly $80 million in revenue. This past year, Internet retailing giant Amazon entered the home services procurement market through their subsidiary, Amazon Local. According to Angies List, “”Amazon Local has chosen not to devote the necessary time, resources and effort to compete legitimately with Angie’s List. … Instead, Amazon Local and its employees have chosen the shortcut of surreptitiously accessing and misappropriating Angie’s List’s proprietary information … through dozens (if not more) of Angie’s List membership accounts that were fraudulently obtained and misused’.

In the lawsuit, Angie’s Lists states that their membership agreement “”explicitly prohibits the use of Angie’s List’s accounts and information for commercial purposes”, contending that a dozen Amazon Local employees violated that contract. One of the defendants, Daniel Malamud, signed up for Angie’s List just after taking a job with Amazon Local. As an account executive for South Jersey, Malmud reviewed information for hundreds of service providers throughout the Philadelphia Area.

In a brief statement to the press, Angie’s List spokeswoman Cheryl Reed stated, “We welcome competition, but on fair and legal grounds.”

At Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, our dedicated team of Philadelphia commercial lawyers assist clients in a wide range of complex litigation matters. Our offices are located in Philadelphia and we represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call 215-574-0600 to schedule a consultation or submit an online contact form.