Fitbit wins patent dispute with Philips over wearable fitness tech


Muireann Bolger

Fitbit wins patent dispute with Philips over wearable fitness tech

A. Aleksandravicius /

Fitbit wins patent dispute with Philips over wearable fitness tech

Wearable fitness-tracker company Fitbit has defeated a patent challenge from Philips North America, a maker of connected-health technologies.

Chief District Judge Dennis Saylor invalidated Philips’ lead patent claim as indefinite and rejected key proposed claim constructions by Philips for another patent at the District Court for the District of Massachusetts on July 22. 

In 2019, Philips sued Fitbit for allegedly infringing three of its patents, US numbers 6,013,007, 7,088,233 and 8,277,377, in Massachusetts.

The patents concern technology related to connected-health products, including GPS/audio athletic training, security mechanisms for transmitting personal data, wearable-technology products, and handling interrupted connections.

According to Philips, these patents cover the technology used in its own family of wearable activity trackers, the Actiwatch.

Philips alleged that Fitbit did not develop its own technology and that it released its first product without filing a single patent application

Philips said that its patented technology has also been licensed to healthcare companies in the making of heart rate monitoring technology.

“Philips has repeatedly offered to license rights in the patents-in-suit to Fitbit, but Fitbit has repeatedly refused to accept Philips’ offers,” the complaint said, adding that Fitbit “takes the significant benefits of Philips’ patented technologies” without paying compensation.

Last week, the court rejected two of Philips’ constructions seeking to strengthen its claims against invalidity challenges. 

The court upheld Fitbit’s positions on two terms, including finding that all asserted claims of the ‘007 patent to be invalid as indefinite.

Law firm Paul Hastings was counsel for Fitbit in the litigation, and the legal team is led by Yar Chaikovsky, Chad Peterman, David Okano, and Radhesh Devendran.

Fitbit, Philips, patent, fitness tracker device, wearable tech