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Jawbone Wins Injunction in Legal Fight With Fitbit

The court sides with Jawbone in its lawsuit over ex-employees who took "trade secrets" to Fitbit.

Asa Mathat

In May, wearable computing manufacturer Jawbone filed a lawsuit in California against former employees who left for Fitbit, accusing them of taking the company’s confidential information with them.

On Tuesday, a Superior Court in California gave Jawbone a green light on a preliminary injunction, ruling that those Jawbone employees who jumped ship “breached their contract” with the company. The ex-employees are now obliged, per the court, to hand over all “confidential, proprietary information, technical data, trade secrets or know-how.”

In Jawbone’s initial suit, the company claimed that one employee downloaded personal information on her computer “that laid out in detail the positioning of Jawbone’s current and future technologies” just before leaving for Fitbit. In the injunction ruling, the court said Jawbone will be able to access this information on personal computers, and expunge it.

Jawbone claims the employees who left recently returned copies of 18,000 confidential files.

A Jawbone rep sent over a statement on the ruling: “We believe this speaks volumes about Jawbone’s claims. Jawbone is pleased with the court’s issuance of an injunction, which was bitterly contested by Fitbit, and looks forward to continuing this litigation against Fitbit and its employees.”

A Fitbit representative sent this statement: “Today’s filing was merely a continuation of last week’s hearing and nothing new [and] we are pleased with the outcome.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story implied that Jawbone had filed a suit against Fitbit. The suit is against the former Jawbone employees of who left to work at Fitbit, not Fitbit itself.

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