In a recent complaint filed against Fitbit, Fitbug claims that Fitbit uses not only a similarly sounding name for their company, but also similar brand imagery and icons. They also claim nutrition-related advice available from Fitbit is almost identical to that offered by Fitbug. The legal action is based on unfair competition as well as trademark infringement and unfair business practices.
Fitbug claims the actions and products distributed by Fitbit have created massive confusion among customers, who tend to believe that the products and services of Fitbit are directly connected to Fitbug. Fitbug believes that market confusion is continuing to increase and has grown substantially over the course of the last year. One of facts Fitbug points to is their call center operators have received an increasing amount of inquires from customers concerned about their Fitbit devices. Customers, business partners and the media have started to associate Fitbug with Fitbit – not only do they have similar names, but both companies have very similar trademarks and services. The assertion from Fitbug is this disregard and disrespect of product differentiation on the part of Fitbit has put Fitbug at a disadvantage.
Fitbug has been in business for over 8 years helping people adopt a healthier lifestyle by offering various wellness innovations. Throughout the years Fitbug has managed to make a name for itself in the wellness industry, more prevalent in Europe but a modest and developing presence in the United States as well.
The name “Fitbug” covers not only their online-based services, but also the software package used by their member base to keep track of progress. Fitbug’s lawsuit alleges Fitbit entered the market four years after Fitbug and started distributing similar devices as well as developing similar online services that parallel the offerings of Fitbug. Fitbug believes that users will continue to associate the two companies if Fitbit does not change the way they currently market their brand and their products.
To see some of the similarities between Fitbug vs. Fitbit visit: http://media.fitbug.com/tm.pdf. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.