Peloton Files Patent Infringement Suit Against ICON

Peloton, known for its stationary bikes and interactive fitness platform, filed a complaint for patent infringement against ICON Health & Fitness on May 18. The patents-in-suit are U.S. Patent Nos. 10,486,026 (“the ’026 Patent”), entitled “Exercise System and Method” and 10,639,521 (“the ’521 Patent”), entitled “Exercise System and Method.” These patents are continuations of previous Peloton patents.  

Peloton’s bike “is the first ever at-home exercise bike that incorporates a sophisticated graphical user interface – presented on a 22-inch HD, multitouch tablet – that displays live and on-demand cycling classes led by some of the world’s best instructors.” The bike also features a “leaderboard” which “show[s] Peloton riders how their performance stacks up against all other riders that have taken that same class, past and present, at every point during a class.” Peloton claimed that its competitor, ICON, “[has] attempted to free ride off Peloton’s innovative technology. Historically, ICON has sold traditional fitness equipment, and it develops and manufactures exercise equipment (including stationary bikes and treadmills).”

ICON created iFit, “a functionality encompassing a simplistic suite of fitness offerings designed to operate on, or in tandem with, ICON products.” Peloton alleged that iFit “never delivered live classes…or offered its members the ability to participate in competitive classes via a leaderboard. Instead, iFit only allowed subscribers to follow along with pre-recorded exercise classes on their machines without any sort of community engagement.” However, ICON now uses iFit with leaderboard technology across all of its products.

Peloton claimed that these changes infringe its patents and that ICON is aware of its infringement. The plaintiff asserted that the “iFit leaderboard ICON advertised in ‘The Duel’ is an almost exact copy of Peloton’s leaderboard.”

Peleton detailed its allegations, explaining how “Claim 1 of the ’026 Patent describes ‘an exercise system for computer-augmented use at home by a first user participating in an archived exercise class accessible over a computer network’ comprising, among other things, a computer configured to ‘cause the display screen to display the content of the selected archived exercise class’ while a user participates in that class. Claim 1 of the ’521 Patent recites similar language.” They argued that ICON uses this patented technology because its bike and other devices allow users to participate in classes at home through the use of the on-screen video player. This content is brought to the user over the internet. Another claim covered the logistics of creating a leaderboard with user data, which Peloton also believes ICON has infringed. Additionally, “Claim 8 of the Peloton Patents adds the concept of ‘generat[ing] a leaderboard from the [] performance data and the first user performance parameter, the leaderboard representing performance parameters at the same point in the selected archived exercise class.’”

In addition to the patent infringement claims, Peloton also accused ICON of false advertising and unfair competition. Peloton states that “ICON also devised a false advertising scheme to mislead and deceive customers into purchasing its products, rather than Peloton’s.” ICON’s alleged scheme involved “fictitious pricing” or “false reference pricing,” whereby ICON listed its item on “sale” based on a higher “original price”, which never truly existed as ICON allegedly never intended to sell its products at the listed original price.

The complaint was filed in the Delaware District Court. Peloton is represented by Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell.