Philips has accused Fitbit, Garmin, and several other competitors of stealing its wearable tech and the U.S. International Trade Commission has agreed to investigate the charge.
Others also accused by Philips include distributor Ingram Micro and two Chinese manufacturers, Inventec and Maintek.
The patents allegedly used illegally by the defendants are related to activity tracking, alarm reporting and other features. The original complaint had been filed in December 2019 and could lead to tariffs or outright bans on any devices found violating Philips’ patents.
The U.S. International Trade Commission said in a statement, “The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain wearable monitoring devices, systems, and components thereof that infringe patents asserted by the complainants. The complainants request that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.”
For its part, Fitbit denied the allegations and stated, “We believe these claims are without merit and a result of Philips’ failure to succeed in the wearables market.”