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American market watchdog investigates complaints on infringement of Philips wearables patents

Following a complaint from Philips and its US division, the US International Trade Commission will launch an investigation into FitBit, Garmin, Ingram Micro, Inventec and Maintek. The companies would use technology patented by Philips without permission.

In its complaint, Philips calls for import taxes or even an embargo on the devices of the competitors in question. That eventuality would only apply to the US since the ITC has no authority outside of it. In the statement of the ITC, you can read that it is a handful of patents, some decades old. The ITC emphasizes that an investigation does not yet say anything about the legitimacy of Philips’ complaints.

The majority of the companies in the indictment are American. Only Maintek and Inventec are based in China. Reuters has asked the companies for a response, but was only able to get one from Fitbit for publication: “We think the charge is untrue and see it as a result of Philips’ failed attempt to capture a share of the wearables market “. Fitbit has recently become the property of Google, the acquisition cost $ 2.1 billion.

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