Has Fitbit Been Stealing Trade Secrets? Judge Says No (Watch)

The competition between wearable device companies Fitbit and Jawbone is heating up. Jawbone recently accused Fitbit of violating patents and poaching its employees in an effort to steal trade secrets. But the U.S. International Trade Commission just ruled that Fitbit didn’t misappropriate anything.

The ruling is obviously good news for Fitbit, although Jawbone wants to review the ruling. If the commission had decided against Fitbit, it could have banned the company from importing any of its products into the U.S., severely disrupting momentum in the fast-growing market.

The heavy competition between these two companies is likely far from over, especially with the amount of growth the wearables industry is experiencing. But both companies need to use caution.

Every business wants to gain advantages over the competition wherever possible. But breaking laws or regulations in the process can lead to unnecessary issues for the offending company. Fitbit may not have been found in violation of any official rules. But if it had, it would have basically handed a huge advantage to its biggest competitor.

Even Under Pressure, Avoid Unethical Business Practices

While most small businesses certainly aren’t competing for a market anywhere near the size of the one being fought over by Fitbit and Jawbone, it’s still essential to stay out of trouble and protect yourself from any unsavory practices that could jeopardize your company’s future.

Smartphone Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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