Blog Tag: Smartwatch
Health Tracker Systems Alleges Garmin’s Smartwatch Infringes Patents
Health Tracker Systems LLC (“Health Tracker”) sued Garmin International, Inc. (“Garmin”) for patent infringement in the Central District of California on March 6, 2023. The lawsuit alleges that Garmin’s Forerunner 45/45S smartwatch infringes U.S. Patent No. 6,582,380, entitled “System and Method of Monitoring and Modifying Human Activity-Based Behavior,” which issued in 2003, and expired in June 2021.
Health Tracker is organized under Delaware law. Garmin is based in Kansas. No other claims are asserted in Health Tracker’s complaint.
The asserted patent mentions a user wearing an activity monitor that can vibrate when the user’s intensity of physical movement exceeds a threshold. The patent contemplates modifying the behavior of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), with Figure 1 (shown below), showing “a classroom with many students 110, some of whom have ADHD 115 and whose behavior is being modified.”
Since July 2022, Health Tracker has also sued six other companies, asserting those companies each sell smartwatches that infringe this same patent, including Fossil Group (over their Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch HR Collider), Samsung (over their Galaxy Fit 2 smartwatch), Michael Kors (over their Access Gen5E MKGO), and Lenovo (over their Moto 360 smartwatch). The Garmin case docket is available here.
Sportbrain Sues Smartwatch Manufacturers, PTAB institutes IPR against Patent-in-Suit
Sportbrain Holdings LLC (“Sportbrain”) is a company that was previously engaged in the business of selling fitness trackers. Sportbrain recently sued eight smartwatch manufacturers for alleged infringement of its U.S. Patent No. 7,454,002 (“the ’002 patent”), which describes a method of capturing and analyzing personal data of a user and providing feedback to the user based on the analysis. FIGS. 1B and 3 of the ’002 patent are reproduced below. These defendants included Jawbone, Frédérique Constant, Apple, Michael Kors, HP, BLOCKS Wearables, Razer, and New Balance. The complaint in each case identified a smartwatch or fitness tracker (having an accelerometer, motion sensor, pedometer, calorie counter, and/or gyroscope) and its companion app as the accused product.
A day after Sportbrain filed its most recent lawsuit, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) granted a petition for inter partes review (IPR) of the ’002 patent. The IPR petition had been filed on July 22, 2016 by Unified Patents. According to its website, Unified Patents is a member-based organization seeking to deter non-practicing entity activity in specific technology areas. Unified Patents argued in its petition that the claims of the ’002 patent were obvious over four different combinations of prior art references.
In instituting the IPR proceeding, the PTAB concluded that the petitioner’s evidence established a reasonable likelihood that the combinations of prior art references would render all of the claims of the ’002 patent obvious.
The ’002 patent is now the subject of over 40 active cases brought by Sportbrain.