Philips Accuses Fitbit, Garmin of Violating Patents, ITC Opens Probe

Philips Accuses Fitbit, Garmin of Violating Patents, ITC Opens Probe

U.S. trade regulators stated Friday they’ll investigate wearable monitoring units, including those made by Fitbit and Garmin, following accusations of patent violations by competitor Koninklijke Philips and its North America unit.

The International Trade Commission (ITC), in a statement, mentioned the review would also look at devices made by California-based Ingram Micro in addition to China-based Maintek Computer and Inventec Appliances.

Netherlands-based Philips and Philips, in their complaint, are calling for duties or an import ban and allege the other companies have violated on Philips’ patents or otherwise misappropriated its intellectual property.

“We are sure that these claims are without merit and a result of Philips’ failure to succeed in the wearables market,” Fitbit stated in response to a request for remark, adding that it might defend itself firmly against all assertions made in the complaint to the ITC.

Wearable activity trackers have gained popularity among shoppers seeking to monitor their physical activity and different health metrics.

The January statement also comes at a time when numerous people set new year resolutions.

Representatives for Garmin, Ingram Micro, Maintek, and Inventec Appliances couldn’t be instantly reached for comment.

Although the USITC agreed to launch a probe, it stated it “has not yet made any decision on the merits of the suit” and would make its decision “at the earliest practicable time.”