Indoor Cycling Co. Mad Dogg Athletics Spins Patent Infringement Suit Against Peloton

On Monday, Mad Dogg Athletics (MDA) filed a suit against Peloton Interactive, alleging that the competitor infringed on two of its patents relating to stationary bicycle and screen-guided exercise technology. The Eastern District of Texas complaint accuses New York-based Peloton of “exploit[ing] the indoor cycling market that MDA created.”

The filing recounts how MDA ostensibly built the indoor cycling industry in the 1990s. Allegedly, once indoor cycling gained popularity, the two cyclist founders incorporated MDA and registered trademarks for a range of bikes, exercise programs, and products.

In 2008, the filing contends “MDA forever changed the indoor cycling world,” with the introduction of its trademarked eSpinner. The bike reportedly brought instructor-led training to riders in their homes for the first time. The complaint also notes that MDA was awarded patent protection “on the core functionality of this revolutionary product.” Finally, MDA designed and launched improved bikes of studio-grade quality in 2018 branded as the Active and Performance Series line.

The filing states that Peloton created its inaugural commercial product in 2014. Reportedly, like MDA’s eSpinner, the Peloton Bike “features a touch-screen that displays on-demand classes which provide the rider with instructor-led coaching, including instructions to adjust pedaling resistance and vary cadence and riding positions, thereby simulating an instructor-led exercise class in the rider’s home.”

Peloton’s latest bike, the Bike+, first sold in or about September, and its original bike allegedly incorporate technology protected by MDA’s United States Patent Nos. 9,694,240 and 10,137,328. The filing states that the two patents are titled “programmed exercise bicycle with computer aided guidance,” and make various claims regarding bike construction and display functionality. MDA asserts that Peloton’s bikes make use of its patented “core features,” including adjustable handlebars, the drive mechanism, the internet-connected computer screen, and rider data input capabilities.

The complaint claims that Peloton directly and indirectly infringes and induces infringement on MDA’s patented technology. For Peloton’s supposedly illegal duplication, MDA seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, damages and treble damages for willful infringement, and its attorneys’ fees and costs.

The plaintiff is represented by Capshaw DeRieux, LLP.