Fitbit Inc Employees Ordered To Hand Over Jawbone Trade Secrets

Jawbone won a preliminary injunction against Fitbit in a trade secret case involving theft of confidential data

Jawbone, a fitness maker company, won a preliminary injunction against its rival Fitbit Inc. (NYSE:FIT), in a trade secret lawsuit involving theft of confidential information. A court in California ordered five of Fitbit’s employees, who allegedly stole the trade secrets when they were employed at Jawbone, to return all the stolen secrets back to Jawbone.

On Tuesday, the court ordered alleged employees to return the confidential information including research, customer list, product and service plans in all computer usable forms and expunge all the copies from their records.

While Fitbit claims to have the information deleted, Jawbones wasn’t satisfied with the claim and sought permission to authenticate the deletion by itself as per the court filing. The court passed a ruling in favor of Jawbone, requiring Fitbit to prove the claim.“It seems Jawbone should be able to satisfy itself that there isn’t more stuff there that falls within the contract definition,” said Francisco Court Judge, Harold Kahn on Tuesday.

However, Fitbit demanded some information protection for company’s communications that comes under attorney-client privilege or marital privilege shield. The court considered the appeal and made some modification in the order sought and decided to appoint a neutral reviewer to authenticate the deletion of data by Fitbit.

Fitbit’s spoke person, Laura Christine Lammers said that the company is pleased with the hearing since the lawsuit was focused on Jawbone’s former employees and will have no impact on Fitbit.

“This was not a motion against Fitbit. The hearing was focused on the exchange of information between Jawbone and its former employees and has no impact on Fitbit. In fact, the court’s rulings at the hearing embraced the approach proposed by counsel for these individuals,” stated Ms . Lammer.

Jawbone filed the lawsuit against Fitbit in May, just prior to the company’s intial public offering (IPO), accusing it of stealing confidential information to decimate Jawbone. The company also claimed that Fitbit allegedly approached at least 30% of its workforce and hired five employees who had access to the company’s trade secrets. The company discovered the theft by analyzing its former employee’s computer records and found the illegal transfer of data through downloading and mailing history.

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