Fitbug takes page out of Apple's playbook, sues Fitbit

If you can’t beat ‘em, sue ‘em! Fitbug, a company that produces high-tech pedometers is suing Fitbit, a company that produces high-tech pedometers, claiming that the latter is causing confusion in the marketplace and “irreparable harm and damage to” Fitbug. This strikes us as similar to Apple complaining about the “rounded corners” of their competitors’ devices.

The complaint claims that Fitbit has stolen many design elements from not only the products, but also marketing and packaging. For example, Fitbug says that “many of the diagrams that are used to depict an individual's activity and food intake are nearly identical to the diagrams used by Fitbug on its website.” The logos of the company, while different, both had blue dots over the letter “i”, and both companies used silhouettes of people exercising on their website. Looking at the example, we wonder if Apple should be suing both of them.

While many of these complaints may have some merit, the most outlandish statement is that there are only two letters differentiating Fitbug from Fitbit. Looked at another way, one could say that Fitbit is 33% different from Fitbug.

Seeing how long it took Fitbug to file the lawsuit leads us to believe that the company is desperately trying to keep up with their main competitor and falling behind. According to their website, there is only one available product (the Air), although there are three other devices available for preorder. In addition, Fitbug only supports Apple devices, whereas Fitbit supports iOS, Android, and has recently announced that a Windows Phone 8 app is on the way.

Source: Press release | Images from Fitbug

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9 Comments

I like how the article is dismissive of their claim, saying it's like Apple's claim against Samsung. I do believe Samsung stole from Apple. but the design wasn't close enough. You can't expect to outsource your technology to a company in another country and think your IP will be safe -- Samsung is proof that it isn't. It's one of the biggest problems with a global economy, where you transfer technology for labor. The transferee will almost always lose in the end because they just cut you out and develop a competing product now that they know how to do things.

Samsung, Asus and others are all good examples of this.

As far as Fitbug's claim. It looks pretty strong to me. If they didn't copy it verbatim, they definitely used it to drive their design choices. Since they're competing directly, you can't be that blatant about it and think your competitor won't notice.

I carry a fitbit with me all the time. And most of the people I talk with knows about Fitbit, the point being that it isn't THAT unknown.

What a **** article. Please, explain to me how this is even close to the rounded corners apple comparison. This sounds like a legitimate issue... Similar to how MS sued that Mike Row guy for using his name for a software company.

LOL Makes me laugh. My decision to buy a FitBit device was based on reviews, not packaging guff. FitBug got poor reviews - FitBit got good reviews.

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