Former Fitbit employees indicted for stealing trade secrets from competitor Jawbone

Six current and former Fitbit employees have been formally charged with stealing trade secrets from Jawbone, a rival fitness tracking company, according to Mercury News.

The indictment charges the six individuals with violating confidentiality agreements they signed while employed with Jawbone after they accepted new roles at Fitbit. Each individual worked at Jawbone for at least one year between May 2011 and April 2015.

"We believe the Justice Department's indictment today of six current and former Fitbit employees for stealing trade secrets from their former employer, Jawbone, validates the claims we made in our lawsuit against Fitbit," said Hosain Rahman, CEO of Jawbone Health, a subsidiary of the former Jawbone company, in a statement provided to Mercury News. "On behalf of former employees, investors, suppliers and others associated with Jawbone, we look forward to seeing justice take its course in this case.''

If they are found guilty, the charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and $250,000 fine per count, followed by a maximum of three years of supervised release.

Fitbit provided the following statement to Becker's Hospital Review. "In a trade secret misappropriation case brought by Jawbone in the International Trade Commission in 2016 that involved these same individuals, a federal administrative law judge during a nine-day trial on the merits found that no Jawbone trade secrets were misappropriated or used in any Fitbit product, feature or technology."

This story was updated June 15, 2018 at 2:27 p.m. to include a statement from Fitbit.

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