Patent troll that sued over Apple Watch and 80 other fitness products meets its match

17 02 2017
A patent troll that has sued more than 80 companies by laying broad claims to Internet-connected “wearables” may be nearing the end of its road.

The patent appeals board at the US Patent and Trademark Office has agreed to reconsider 16 patent claims owned by Sportbrain Holdings, LLC. The Patent Office’s decision comes just three days after Sportbrain filed a lawsuit against Apple (PDF). Taking on its highest-profile target yet, Sportbrain claims that the Apple Watch violates US Patent No. 7,454,002, titled “Integrating personal data capturing functionality into a portable computing device and a wireless communication device.”

In dozens of lawsuits, Sportbrain’s lawyers have argued that its patent entitles it to collect royalties on a huge range of devices and software products that gather user fitness information. Beginning in January 2016, Sportbrain unleashed a torrent of lawsuits against companies with connected watches and other wearables, like Garmin, Fitbit, Pebble, and Nike (PDF). It also sued tech companies like Apple, Samsung, and HP, and watchmakers including Timex, Tag Heuer, and Nixon.


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