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Activity tracker provider Jawbone has filed a lawsuit against Fitbit, its biggest competitor. The firm alleges Fitbit hired away nearly half a dozen of its employees that brought along trade secrets and intellectual property to their new employer.
The suit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, alleges Fitbit has contacted 30 percent of Jawbone's workforce. Ultimately, five staffers jumped ship and it is Jawbone's believe that each and every former employee copied confidential documents to flash drives and / or e-mailed others to their future employer.
All five former Jawbone employees are also named in the suit.
The documents in question are described as the "information equivalent of a gold mine" as they detail the company's roadmap and also provide insight into Jawbone's supply chain, gross margins, product lineup, product target costs, vendor contacts, product analysis, market trends and predictions and the projected future direction of its competitors.
Fitbit owns a commanding lead in the health-tracking industry. According to initial public offering paperwork filed earlier this month, the company enjoys a market share of nearly 85 percent based on data from the NPD Group.
Jawbone claims it has suffered irreparable harm, competitive and monetary damages as a result of the shady scheme. As such, the company is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and also wants the court to block any further use of the information found in the documents.
Fitbit hadn't publically responded to the accusations as of this writing.
Update: Fitbit issued the following statement to TechSpot via e-mail.
"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."