The fight between Adidas and Asics over fitness tracking technology could be inching toward a settlement.
In a standard status report filed Monday with a Delaware federal court, counsel for Adidas and Asics said the parties “are amenable to settlement discussions” around Adidas’ claims that a string of technology patents covering wearable exercise and fitness-tracking devices are being infringed as part of the My Asics mobile application, which offers tracking and training for runners.
While both athletic companies also agreed to participate in mediation, no formal talks have begun.
The prospect of a settlement however could be a ways off, as Adidas on Friday strongly opposed Asics’ May push for the suit to be dismissed entirely, claiming the technology at issue is too abstract and generic to equal a “patent-eligible invention.”
Adidas argued that this stance fails by “drastically oversimplifying the claims” in an effort to fit their position.
“Defendants’ motion simply dismisses all technical components, inventive arrangements and specific functionality with the broad brush that they are ‘generic’ or can simply be performed in the mind,” Adidas said in its response. “They offer no supporting analysis for virtually all 69 claims other than bald generalizations and conclusions.”
The German company went on to claim that patents similar to those at issue in the litigation have been upheld by “multiple courts,” and said Asics’ push for dismissal should be denied.
A representative of Asics could not be reached immediately for comment.
When Adidas initially sued Asics in March, it claimed the Japanese company knew or should have known its app infringed on the German brand’s technology, namely because Under Armour last year settled litigation over a number of the same patents related to wearable tech.
Adidas pointed to elements of the My Asics app, like a “live track” allowing users to GPS-stream their movements, “audio coaching” and even its use of wireless technology to receive communications as unpermitted use of the technology covered in its patents.
Other elements of the app like rankings, fitness reports and activity logs are also allegedly covered by the Adidas patents, according to the complaint.
Adidas is seeking a permanent injunction on the Asics app and prohibiting the company from further use of the technology in the patents, along with unspecified damages.
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