US regulators are investigating claims that Fitbit and Garmin violated Philips' wearable device patents

In context: Patent disputes are the norm in the tech industry. It feels like one company is always accusing another of swiping their legally-protected ideas, and it’s never clear who will come out on top. For better or worse, we’re seeing this trend present itself once again: federal investigators are officially looking into Fitbit and Garmin after fellow wearable device maker Philips accused them both of violating its patents.

This news was first revealed by the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) in a press release today. This organization, for the unaware, investigates unfair trade practices, as well as copyright, trademark, and — of course — patent disputes.

In this case, Philips (yes, the same Philips that makes color-changing Hue bulbs) believes Garmin, Fitbit, and other wearable device makers copied a few patented, smartwatch-related ideas for use in their own products. Some of the wearable gadget functions being disputed include motion tracking, activity monitoring, and “alarm reporting” technology.

In other words, it seems Philips is aiming to claim ownership over a few very basic smartwatch features — or at least, specific implementations of those features. Whether or not those claims will hold up remains to be seen.

The USITC’s investigation has only just begun, and it will be some time before any concrete answers turn up. The organization will need to question representatives from all “respondent” companies and look for evidence to support or detract from Philips’ assertions.

The USITC has made it clear that it has “not yet made any decisions” on the merits of this case. Today’s announcement is just that; an announcement, and not confirmation that Philips or Garmin have actually broken any patent laws. The USITC will reveal a “target date” for the completion of its investigation within 45 days, however, so we’ll be sure to update this article when that information is released.

US regulators are investigating claims that Fitbit and Garmin violated Philips' wearable device patents 1

For those who aren’t familiar with the products developed by the companies mentioned above, Fitbit is best known for its varied line of fitness trackers, such as the Charge or Versa 2. Garmin’s product line-up is a bit less specialized: it does make fitness trackers, but also smartwatches, GPS devices, and more.

Philips’ sole wearable device is its “Health Watch,” which is no longer officially available for purchase from the company’s website. When it was, it cost a whopping $250 and offered very similar features to other fitness trackers on the market.

Fitbit, for its part, is none too pleased with these accusations. “We believe these claims are without merit and a result of Philips’s failure to succeed in the wearables market,” the company allegedly said in a statement to The Verge. We’ll have to wait and see who will win this patent battle.

Image credit: VentureBeat, Tom’s Guide

About the author

E-Crypto News was developed to assist all cryptocurrency investors in developing profitable cryptocurrency portfolios through the provision of timely and much-needed information. Investments in cryptocurrency require a level of detail, sensitivity, and accuracy that isn’t required in any other market and as such, we’ve developed our databases to help fill in information gaps.

Related Posts

E-Crypto News Executive Interviews

Automated trading with HaasBot Crypto Trading Bots

Crypto Scams

Millions in Cryptocurrency Stolen by Scammers in the Last Month According to Tenable Research
November 24, 2021
Behind The Scenes: How this Crypto Community Responded to + $50m Hack
October 18, 2021
Crypto Scams
Crypto Scams Still Persistent In 2021, SEC Warns About Red Flags To Watch
September 9, 2021
Poly Network
Here’s How Hackers Stole Over $600 million in the Poly Network Attack
August 12, 2021
The World’s Most Infamous Crypto Hacks and Scams
July 31, 2021

Blockchain/Cryptocurrency Questions and Answers

GamStop
How Does Bitcoin Casino Work + 2021 Beginner’s Guide
November 8, 2021
Cryptocurrency
How to Buy and Sell Cryptocurrency
November 8, 2021
What Are Bitcoin Futures And How Will They Work In 2022?
November 4, 2021
Ethereum
The Unconventional Guide to Ethereum
October 28, 2021
ICo Presale
The Science Behind ICO Presales…
October 14, 2021


CryptoCurrencyUSDChange 1hChange 24hChange 7d
Bitcoin42,448 0.40 % 0.36 % 0.77 %
Ethereum3,168.4 0.34 % 1.83 % 2.40 %
Binance Coin471.88 0.23 % 1.26 % 1.82 %
Tether1.000 0.00 % 0.15 % 0.09 %
Cardano1.520 2.19 % 4.56 % 28.02 %
USD Coin1.000 0.34 % 0.08 % 0.12 %
Solana141.40 0.49 % 0.19 % 0.81 %
XRP0.7512 0.05 % 2.05 % 2.79 %
Terra80.37 0.99 % 2.97 % 9.14 %
Polkadot25.19 0.08 % 2.33 % 1.41 %

bitcoin
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 42,295.00
ethereum
Ethereum (ETH) $ 3,151.62
binance-coin
Binance Coin (BNB) $ 470.53
tether
Tether (USDT) $ 1.00
cardano
Cardano (ADA) $ 1.49
usd-coin
USD Coin (USDC) $ 1.00
solana
Solana (SOL) $ 140.58
xrp
XRP (XRP) $ 0.751705
terra-luna
Terra (LUNA) $ 79.64
polkadot
Polkadot (DOT) $ 25.09