Lululemon sues rival Peloton over fitness videos

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Lululemon alleges that Peloton’s fitness classes infringe their patents

A yoga and fitness clothing company that licenses from yoga retailer Lululemon has filed a patent lawsuit against California fitness-gear maker Peloton.

On Tuesday, Lululemon filed a lawsuit with the US International Trade Commission, challenging the fitness-gear maker’s claim to market as “The Only Workout Series” which features cycling classes based on a fitness device and online streaming technology.

The class-action lawsuit filed by Lululemon claims Peloton infringes on seven of its US patents, patents which were filed as far back as 1999 and 2010.

It also names as defendants Peloton’s other founders: Jason Pellegrino, Glenn Earley and Doug Smith.

Lululemon’s lawsuit was filed just one day after a search for Peloton’s executive vice president, Mike Johnson, yielded nothing, the New York Times reports.

Lululemon says in the lawsuit: “Likely due to the tremendous publicity surrounding Peloton’s launch, the market for Peloton-branded exercise equipment, videos, and additional programmes has been created and is now broad and extensive and would harm not only plaintiffs but also Lululemon.”

Similarities are possible.

Both companies deal in high-end fitness gear for individuals and companies, both have a sizeable following, both make no secret of their individual and corporate role in the yoga world, and both have an exercise-focused streaming platform.

Who owns who’s intellectual property?

Many companies resort to disputed patent infringement and lawsuits after the courts or with each other.

The high court of South Africa in 2013 ruled in favour of Yodlee, allowing the financial services company to shut down firm M-Banile Inc’s annual invoice payments service.

M-Banile had said Yodlee and other competitors developed their business models on its intellectual property.

The ruling amounted to a legal precedent, supporting a model known as IP licensing, in which a company offers a certain amount of rights to a competitor in return for a fee.

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