Peloton is suing Lululemon, a former co-branding partner, in court to clear his name over claims of patent infringement.
The fitness platform filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday seeking a “declaratory judgment” that its apparel products do not infringe Lululemon’s design patents and trade dress, as claimed in a letter from cease and desist that Peloton said it received earlier this month.
Although Peloton has been selling clothing since 2014, those drops have traditionally been limited to seasonal and cultural collections designed in collaboration with partner brands, like last month’s collaboration with Adidas and Beyoncé’s Ivy Park. That changed this fall with the launch of Peloton Apparel, a private label that sells a mix of gender-neutral styles and accessories for men, women and women.
Lululemon’s shutdown and forbearance came just two months after Peloton Apparel launched. According to Peloton’s lawsuit, the letter alleged that five of its products — four bras and a pair of leggings — infringed design patents held by Lululemon. He also allegedly claimed that a Peloton-branded leggings designed by another company infringed the sportswear brand’s rights to commercial attire.
If Peloton did not stop selling the products, Lululemon reportedly said it would bring an infringement action against the home bike maker. The company also demanded accounting of Peloton’s sales for the allegedly counterfeit products, as well as “documents and information shared between the parties or simply relating to their co-branding relationship,” according to the fitness brand.
Peloton, however, claims that there are “many clear and obvious differences” between its products and Lululemon’s patented designs. In addition, he insists that the respective logos of Peloton and Lululemon are sufficiently distinctive and recognized that confusion between their products is a “virtual impossibility”.
Further, Peloton contends that Lululemon’s design patents are invalid because they are “anticipated and / or obvious”. To prove his point, he highlights patents or products from brands like Asics and Sweaty Betty that he says incorporate “basic features” of allegedly infringing patents.
The Peloton trial comes at a busy time for Lululemon. The athletics giant’s core apparel business has skyrocketed during the pandemic, putting it on track to overtake Nike as the largest women’s sportswear brand in the United States, according to the service. monitoring of consumers in the NPD group. The company’s success in the apparel business comes as it prepares to launch its first styles of footwear early next year.