USA - Immersion (www.immersion.com) has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Fitbit (www.fitbit.com), alleging infringement of three Immersion U.S. patents. Immersion has also filed complaints against Fitbit and its Shanghai-based distributor in China, Runtong International Trade Co., Ltd. ("Runtong") in the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court, alleging infringement of three Immersion Chinese patents.
The complaints allege that certain Fitbit wearable devices including the Fitbit Flex, Fitbit Flex 2, Fitbit Alta, Fitbit Alta HR, Fitbit Charge, Fitbit Charge 2, Fitbit Charge HR, Fitbit Blaze, and Fitbit Surge infringe Immersion patents covering haptic feedback devices, systems and methods.
"Since 1993, Immersion has been a leading innovator in the field of haptic technology, leveraging our culture of innovation and market-leading haptic know-how," said Victor Viegas, Immersion's CEO.
"Our valuable patents in the U.S. and China help us protect our longstanding investment in research and development in this exciting field. We are disappointed that Fitbit rejected our numerous attempts to negotiate a reasonable license for Fitbit's products, but it is imperative that we protect our intellectual property both within the U.S. and through the distribution chain in China."
The complaints seek orders requiring Fitbit, and its Chinese distributor Runtong, to immediately and permanently stop manufacturing, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing infringing Fitbit devices in both the U.S. and China; as well as damages to compensate Immersion for the harm the infringement has inflicted.
The U.S. complaint asserts infringement by Fitbit wristband products, including the Fitbit Flex, Flex 2, Alta, Alta HR, Charge, Charge 2, Charge HR, Blaze, and Surge of the following Immersion patent:
U.S. Patent No. 8,351,299, entitled "Apparatus and Method for Providing Condition-Based Vibrotactile Feedback"
The U.S. complaint also asserts infringement by the Fitbit Alta, Alta HR, Charge, Charge 2, Charge HR, Blaze, and Surge of the following two Immersion patents:
U.S. Patent No. 8,059,105, entitled "Haptic Feedback for Touchpads and Other Touch Controls"
U.S. Patent No. 8,638,301, entitled "Systems and Methods for Transmitting Haptic Messages"
The first Chinese complaint asserts infringement by Fitbit Blaze, Surge, Charge 2 and Alta of China Patent No. ZL200980127978.1, entitled "Systems and methods for mapping message contents to virtual physical properties for sending vibrotactile messaging."
The second Chinese complaint asserts infringement by Fitbit Blaze and Surge of China Patent No. ZL200680041474.4, entitled "Methods and systems for providing haptic messaging to handheld communication devices."
The third Chinese complaint asserts infringement by Fitbit Blaze, Surge, and Charge 2 of China Patent No. ZL200980128008.3, entitled "Systems and methods for transmitting haptic messages."