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Biometrics firm Valencell files patent infringement suit against Apple, Fitbit over heart rate sensor technology


On Monday, Valencell filed patent infringement lawsuits in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina against both Apple, Inc. and Fitbit, Inc.

Valencell alleges that the two companies knowingly and wrongly used its technology without obtaining a license and that Apple’s and Fitbit’s products infringe on Valencell’s intellectual property, including United States patent numbers 8,923,941, 8,886,269, 8,929,965 and 8,989,830.

In a statement provided by the company Dr. Steven LeBoeuf, President of Valencell said, “Since 2006, Valencell recognized that it would take a focused, multidisciplinary team to develop and validate accurate biometric sensor technology that would ultimately fuel compelling use cases in the wearables market. Rather than manufacture its own wearables, Valencell has repeatedly chosen to partner with existing consumer electronics companies and manufacturers while continuing to focus our R&D on creating the future in biometric wearables.”

He continued, “as more and more wearable products powered by Valencell’s award-winning PerformTek® sensor technology are now available in the marketplace, and the market has begun to value the importance of highly accurate biometric wearables, we’ve seen some companies choose to use our patented inventions without pursuing a patent license. We will defend our intellectual property to ensure our current and future licensees get the full value of licensing our inventions, as we continue to innovate around our foundational dream of seamless, personalized mobile health and fitness.”

Valencell’s patent portfolio includes 29 granted patents, with more than 60 patents pending.

In an email to BiometricUpdate.com, Fitbit made the following statement. “Fitbit has independently developed and delivered innovative product offerings to empower its customers to lead healthier, more active lives. Since its inception, Fitbit has more than 200 issued patents and patent applications in this area. Fitbit plans to vigorously defend itself against these allegations”.

Valencell recently launched BioPack, a pre-packaged biometric sensor system that incorporates Valencell’s PerformTek biometric technology for immediate integration in wrist and arm wearables, as well as other form factors.

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