US Trade Authorities to Investigate Case Against Fitbit and Garmin

On Friday, US trade authorities said they would examine wearable monitoring devices, including those manufactured by Fitbit and Garmin, following allegations of patent infringements by competitor Koninklijke Philips and the company in North America.

In a statement, the United States International Trade Commission said the investigation would also look at devices made by Ingram Micro based in California, as well as Maintek Computer and Inventec Appliances based in China.

In their complaint, Netherlands-based Philips and Philips North America LLC are calling for tariffs or an import ban and claiming that the other companies have infringed Philips ‘ patents or misappropriated their intellectual property otherwise.

“We believe these claims are without merit and a result of Philips’ failure to succeed in the wearables market,” Fitbit said in response to a request for comment, adding that it would defend itself vigorously against all allegations made in the complaint to the ITC.

Also, trackers of wearable activity have gained popularity among consumers. Thus, it is who seek to track their physical activity and other health measurements. So, the January announcement is also coming at a time. This is when a number of people are putting forward new year resolutions.

Thus, Representatives for Garmin, Ingram Micro, Maintek and Inventec Appliances could not be immediately reached for comment.

So, the USITC decided to launch an investigation. Also, it said it had “no decision yet on the merits of the case”. Thus, would make its determination “at the earliest possible time.”




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