Peloton Faces Lawsuit Over New Bike Features, Courtesy of NordicTrack
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Popular home fitness company Peloton is facing a patent infringement lawsuit over the new features debuted with its new Bike Plus.
ICON, the creator of the NordicTrack home fitness bike, alleges that the new features on the Bike Plus violate several of their patented features, notably including a screen that swivels for off-bike access, as well as a feature allowing the bike to automatically change resistance during class, a feature Peloton refers to as “auto-follow” but ICON claims to have previously developed.
ICON is seeking a jury trial to resolve the matter of Peloton’s alleged patent infringement.
A patent is a legal right given to an inventor or organization allowing them to produce, sell, utilize, or import their invention. In many cases, a patent may include exclusive rights to use of the product; it also allows the organization to sue any party which might have infringed on their patent, intentionally or not. ICON alleges that Peloton CEO John Foley approached them in 2013 seeking permission to use ICON’s patents for their original bike, which ICON declined.
A jury trial is exactly what it sounds like; a trial held before a jury of 12 people who will be given the authority to what kind of compensation ICON deserves if the allegations against Peloton are true. Currently, ICON is seeking damages of an amount to be decided in court to compensate the losses they may have suffered due to the infringement, as well as the costs of their attorney’s fees in bringing the case to court.
This is not the first blow in a history of legal battles between ICON and Peloton.
In fact, in 2017 a different lawsuit over patent infringement was settled between the two home fitness companies. Just earlier this year, Peloton sued ICON over similar allegations of patent infringement and false advertising, claiming that the other company unfairly copied the interactive fitness program for which they are known. This preceding legal battle has led some to label ICON’s current patent infringement lawsuit as a retaliatory attempt to distract attention away from their ongoing legal battle.
ICON is not the only fitness company Peloton has engaged in litigation with, nor is Peloton the former’s first legal adversary.
In September of 2018, Peloton filed a lawsuit against Flywheel Sports, claiming that members of the company had attempted to poach their design and technology concepts. In October of 2019, Peloton also filed suit against Echelon, another market competitor for similar allegations of patent infringement and unfair advertising practices. However, in 2015, ICON also sued a different fitness company, Octane Fitness, over allegations of patent infringement.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the closure of many gyms, and a prediction of more fitness company lawsuits to come.
This new lawsuit over the swivel-screen and auto-follow features of the Peloton’s Bike Plus is simply the most recent in a growing tradition of patent infringement lawsuits between the big-name health and fitness companies. With more gyms closing down due to the COVID-19 pandemic and health-focused consumers choosing to exercise at home, it’s not surprising that the battle between home fitness companies has become particularly heated. If past litigation is any indication, this will not be the last of this type of lawsuit between health and fitness giants vying for ultimate control of the home fitness market, especially in a world where at-home fitness is becoming the new normal.