The complaint filed yesterday (May 27) in the Superior Court of California said: "This case arises out of clandestine efforts of Fitbit to steal talent, trade secrets and intellectual property from its chief competitor, Jawbone."
It alleges Fitbit tacitly acknowledged that it lacked Jawbone's proprietary technology, and was “systematically plundering Jawbone employees”.
Since early 2015, Fitbit recruiters have contacted an estimated 30 per cent of Jawbone’s workforce, it claimed. It also alleged one Fitbit recruiter said "Fitbit's objective is to decimate Jawbone".
The complaint also alleges that forensic analysis revealed employees departing to Fitbit stole proprietary Jawbone company information.
The filing comes as Fitbit is poised to launch an IPO, which it hopes will raise $100m (£65m). Jawbone recently obtained $300m (£195m) from investment fund BlackRock.
In a statement, Fitbit told us: “As the pioneer and leader in the connected health and fitness market, Fitbit has no need to take information from Jawbone or any other company. Since Fitbit’s start in 2007, our employees have developed and delivered innovative product offerings to empower our customers to lead healthier, more active lives. We are unaware of any confidential or proprietary information of Jawbone in our possession and we intend to vigorously defend against these allegations." ®