The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) will investigate wearable monitoring devices made by Fitbit, Garmin and others, following allegations of patent violations by rival Philips and its North America unit.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Philips North America, LLC, of Andover, MA, and Koninklijke Philips N.V. of Eindhoven, Netherlands, on December 10, 2019. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain wearable monitoring devices, systems, and components thereof that infringe patents asserted by the complainants. The complainants request that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
- Fitbit, Inc., of San Francisco, CA;
- Garmin International, Inc., of Olathe, KS;
- Garmin USA, Inc., of Olathe, KS;
- Garmin Ltd. d/b/a Garmin Switzerland of Schaffhausen, Switzerland;
- Ingram Micro Inc. of Irvine, CA;
- Maintek Computer (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. of Suzhou New District, Jiangsu Province, China; and
- Inventec Appliances (Pudong) of Shanghai, China.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1190), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the USITC.