Adidas has charged Under Armour Inc. for violation of 10 mobile health fitness related patent infringements for technology used in a “location-aware” fitness system that allows users to monitor their heart rates, calories burned and other data.
According to the Law360, the suit alleges Amour39 violated patents for technology for their fitness and monitoring system involving multiple devices including:
- Chest Strap
- Mobile health related software that can record and store user’s level of exertion during workouts
The suit filed in a Delaware federal court on Tuesday stated, “unless enjoined by this court, defendant Under Armour’s acts of infringement will continue to damage Adidas irreparably.”
Also included in the suit is mobile health app company, MapMyFitness which was acquired by Under Armour in 2013 for $150 million for its series of mobile apps that utilizes global positioning technology to detect an athlete’s location.
“MapMyFitness has been recognized as a pioneer in this category. We are aware of the lawsuit and are in the process of reviewing the complaint,” Under Armour spokeswoman Diane Pelkey said in a statement.
According to Adidas, a former senior engineering manager who now works for Under Armour’s as the director of innovation and research was intimately familiar with Adidas’s patents.
Under Armour thus “has direct knowledge of Adidas’ patent portfolio, including the patents asserted in this complaint,” Adidas said.
Wearables IP Battle Brewing
The suit reflects the wearable IP battle that is brewing between companies looking to grab market share of the hot wearables & devices space. Last year, Microsoft beefed up its wearable IP portfolio to compete with competitors, Google and Apple with the acquisition of long-time emerging tech design shop, Osterhout Design Group.
HIT Consultant Media special correspondent and digital/mhealth consultant Lois Drapin says, “I am not surprised to hear this.” If you look at the wearables market and app market, you are going to see IP playing an ever increasingly important role. Look at why Jawbone acquired BodyMedia. BodyMedia had nearly 90 patents and sensor data from its body monitors – and had not only captured that data but had analyzed that data. Jawbone with its great design and tech was really an interesting play in combination with BodyMedia’s experience and market leadership in consumer and health data. Also, many companies have acquired IP over time also with businesses that have ceased because they were too early to market. I think we will continue to see companies have the appetite for this kind of protection of their IP. Companion apps will also be front and center in the wearable space. It is probably just beginning.”