Wearable devices and consumer technology specialist Jawbone has launched legal action against rivals Fitbit after accusing its competitor of poaching as many as 15 staff members who copied intellectual property and trade data onto USB sticks as they left.
The lawsuit names five former employees who are thought to have been directly involved in addition to 10 others who have also fallen under suspicion, after a Fitbit recruiter contacted 30 per cent of Jawbone’s staff.
Seeking redress Jawbone is demanding compensation for its losses and a bar on further employees jumping ship.
In a statement Fitbit said: "As the pioneer and leader in the connected health and fitness market, Fitbit has no need to take information from Jawbone or any other company. Since Fitbit’s start in 2007, our employees have developed and delivered innovative product offerings to empower our customers to lead healthier, more active lives. We are unaware of any confidential or proprietary information of Jawbone in our possession and we intend to vigorously defend against these allegations.”
Fitbit is in process of listing on the New York Stock Exchange, a process which could net it as much as $100m after reporting sales of $340m in the first quarter, three times what it achieved over the same period in 2014.