Smartwatch vendor sues Apple, Fitbit for patent infringement

Apple and Fitbit are being sued for alleged patent infringement by Valencell, a small smartwatch tech company.

Valencell claims Apple's Watch and Fitbit's Charge HR and Surge devices feature its technology. The lawsuits, filed separately, claim Apple and Fitbit did not obtain required license agreements and captured Valencell's patented PerformTek, which is licensed to more than 25 companies including Sony and LG Electronics, through false pretenses, according to a report at The News & Observer.

PerformTek allows wearables, from headsets to armbands, to track health data such as blood oxygen levels and heart rate.

The Raleigh-based Valencell wants preliminary and permanent injunctions to stop Apple and Fitbit from infringements on patents, and also is seeking monetary damages.

Apple and Fitbit are two of the most prominent companies in the health wearables sphere, with both battling for market supremacy.

The lawsuit from Valencell is not the first one Fitbit has faced. Competitor Jawbone previously accused Fitbit of employee poaching and alleged intellectual theft by newly hired former Jawbone staffers.

While Apple did not comment on the Valencell lawsuit, The News & Observer states Fitbit intends to fight the legal claim and noted it has 200 issued patents and patent applications.

For more information:
- read The News & Observer article