Fitbug, an e-health company, has filed a lawsuit against health gadget maker Fitbit, claiming the name is too similar to its trademarked name.
The company claims the similarity has caused harm to its business and sent Fitbit a cease-and-desist letter last year.
Fitbit is arguably the better known of the two companies, however Fitbug has been in the market longer.
Fitbug launched in 2005 and offers a fitness-tracking service using electronic devices, as well as web-based nutrition advice and digital coaching. Fitbit debuted in 2007 and offers a similar line of products such as a wrist-worn tracker and Wi-Fi enabled scales.
In a statement, Fitbug argued that consumers wrongly assume that Fitbug and Fitbit are related when they are not. It claims people have called and emailed Fitbug asking for help with their Fitbit devices and business partners have also been left confused.
Fitbug also claims that Fitbit’s logos and other marketing materials are similar to those of Fitbug, which include the use of exercising silhouettes.
A Fitbug spokeswoman said: “Fitbug believes that the confusion is causing irreparable damage to its business as it expands in a digital health market that in the US is forecast to almost double to $1.5 billion by next year.”
In response to the allegations, Fitbit chief executive officer James Park said: “Fitbit is very proud of our fantastic products and reputation, which we have earned solely through the tremendous efforts of the Fitbit team. We are surprised by the allegations contained in Fitbug’s complaint.”
The company said it is confident in its legal position and hopes to settle the matter quickly in court.
It is sometimes the case where companies have similar names and trademark issues can be difficult to resolve. What makes this case more complex is the fact both companies offer similar products.
Fitbug believes since it was in the market first, it has the rights to stop Fitbit from trading with that particular name as it violates the Trademark Act.
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