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Jawbone files lawsuit against Fitbit, alleges trade secret theft

As was discussed in previous post, companies in Houston, and elsewhere, may have certain information and plans that they wish to keep confidential. Generally known as trade secrets, the theft of this information by competitors may be used to provide advantages in the market. Therefore, businesses often take legal action when they suspect that trade secret theft has occurred.

Jawbone, a cellphone headset and wireless device manufacturer, recently filed a lawsuit against Fitbit for alleged theft of trade secrets and intellectual property. According to reports, lawyers for Jawbone claim that Fitbit has been poaching workers from its chief competitor. It is alleged that a number of these workers downloaded sensitive information regarding Jawbone’s future plans and products. Jawbone is reportedly requesting the court to prohibit the former employees from using this information, as well as financial damages.

The complaint alleges that Fitbit’s chief people officer admitted that the company has been hiring employees away from Jawbone. However, a statement released by Fitbit claimed the company had no knowledge of any sensitive Jawbone information in its possession. The statement also asserted that Fitbit did not need to steal trade secrets from Jawbone or other companies.

The theft of trade secrets and other intellectual property is not only illegal. It can also provide a company with an edge over its competition. For that reason, people who feel that their trade secrets, or other sensitive information, have been stolen may consider consulting with an attorney. A legal professional may advise them of their rights and help them determine the best course of action given their situation.

Source: New York Times, “Jawbone Accuses Fitbit of Stealing Information by Hiring Workers Away,” Michael J. de la Merced, May 27, 2015

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