Jawbone accuses Fitbit of stealing its “Playbook for the Future” by bribing former employees.
Fitbit and Jawbone are taking their fierce competition to court. Jawbone has filed a complaint against Fitbit in the California State Court on Wednesday, accusing the latter of “systematically plundering” confidential information by poaching Jawbone employees, among other things.
According to Jawbone, five of its ex-employees downloaded sensitive materials before resigning from their positions in the company. Jawbone accuses Fitbit of plundering the five employees who are now listed as defendants. Additionally, Fitbit’s recruiters reportedly contacted around 30 percent of Jawbone’s employees
Jawbone claims that one Fitbit recruiter confessed that “Fitbit’s objective is to decimate Jawbone.” The five ex-Jawbone employees had access to sensitive information, particularly, key aspects to Jawbone’s business and future plans. The five defendants are Katherine Mogal, Patrick Narron, Patricio Romano, Ana Rosario, and Rong Zhang.
Ms. Ana Rosario reportedly downloaded a highly confidential file into her PC. The file contained detailed information about Jawbone’s current and future technologies and products. The file was essentially Jawbone’s “Playbook for the Future.”
Ms. Rosario allegedly sought a confidential meeting with Jawbone to discuss the company’s direction and future products. She did this after deciding to join Fitbit as a User Experience Researcher, Jawbone said. Furthermore, an investigation revealed that former employees used USB drives in their last days of employment to download proprietary company information. The said information was later sent to a personal email address.
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“The stolen files are the informational equivalent of a gold mine for Fitbit, as they provide an intricate roadmap into the core of Jawbone’s business, including such information as Jawbone’s supply chain, gross margins, product lineup (both current and future), product target costs, vendor contacts, product analysis, market trends and predictions, and the future direction of Fitbit’s main competitor,” the document reads.