Peloton in legal / trademark dispute with beverage company Peloton Cold Brew, LLC

Peloton has filed a petition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office requesting that they invalidate, or cancel, trademark #5385686 previously granted to Peloton Cold Brew, LLC.

Trademarks are split into 45 different classes – with each class applying to a different industry. Peloton Cold Brew’s trademark (which you can view here) specifically covers Class 30 items, which in Peloton Cold Brew’s case is “Beverages Made of Coffee”. Class 30 is a wide ranging class, covering a wide range of foods, and their packaging. It includes breads, coffees, teas, corn, rice, cereal, baking powder, pizza, sandwiches, and such.

Peloton (the bike company) is requesting the trademark be invalidated on two separate grounds: “Priority and likelihood of confusion” as well as “Abandonment”

With regards to abandonment, Peloton (the bike company) is claiming that Peloton Cold Brew is no longer using the Peloton name with coffee.

Registrant is not using, has no plans to use, and has otherwise discontinued all use of Registrant’s Mark in the United States on or in connection with the goods identified in the Registration. Upon further information and belief, and based on Petitioner’s investigation of Registrant and its business, Registrant has no intent to resume such use in the foreseeable future.

Although Peloton Cold Brew doesn’t appear to be specifically selling coffee at time of publishing, the current product they have available is Peloton Cascara Tea. Cascara is made from the outer skin of coffee beans. So their product appears to be fusing both tea & coffee. It’s not clear how the patent office would interpret that, in terms of it keeping their trademark still active.

The other grounds Peloton filed the cancellation for was “Priority and likelihood of confusion”. Peloton (the bike company) in the claim notes that they have a “Peloton cafe” at the studios in New York which sells food and beverage, including tea and coffee [This is the small shop at the studios when it was open where you can buy your smoothie before or after your workout]. They also state they talk about food, nutrition, and wellness on their blog and social media.

5. For several years at Petitioner’s well-known flagship studio in New York, Petitioner has provided café services under its PELOTON Mark, featuring a wide variety of food and beverage products including but not limited to coffee, tea, snack bars, smoothies, and juices. Peloton’s flagship studio and associated café attract visitors from across the United States and various other countries throughout the world.

6. Peloton also has offered commentary on fitness, food, nutrition, and wellness, among other topics, under its PELOTON Mark on its popular blog and social media accounts.

Peloton uses the above facts to then claim that the goods or services offered by Peloton Cold Brew might reasonably be believed by consumers to think that they are associated with, or endorsed by, Peloton (the bike company).

19. Registrant’s Mark is identical to Petitioner’s PELOTON Mark.

20. The goods identified in the Registration are closely related to the goods and services offered by Petitioner under Petitioner’s Mark.

21. As a consequence of the similarity of the parties’ marks and the relatedness of the parties’ respective goods and services, along with other relevant factors, consumers are likely to be deceived into falsely believing that the goods offered by Registrant under Registrant’s Mark originate from or are otherwise associated with or endorsed by Petitioner, or that there is some relationship between Registrant and Petitioner or the goods of Registrant and the goods and services of Petitioner, all to Petitioner’s injury and harm

22. Thus, registration of Registrant’s Mark in connection with the goods set forth in the Registrant is likely to cause confusion, cause mistake, or to deceive the public into the false belief that the goods offered by Registrant under Registrant’s Mark come from or are otherwise sponsored by or connected with Petitioner, in violation of Section 2(d) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(d).

23. By reason of the foregoing, Petitioner will be damaged by the continued registration of Registrant’s Mark

The fight will probably revolve around this claim of likelihood of confusion, rather than abandonment. Would a consumer reasonably believe that a tea sold in a convenience store is associated with the cycling company (based on Peloton selling drinks out of their studio after people attend a class)? However, Peloton has only been growing in popularity and size during the pandemic, so is becoming more of a household name – which does increase the chances of this.

Peloton Cold Brew sounds like they intend to fight this in court – they have set up a Go Fund Me for their legal fees.

My brother Dave and I started Peloton Cold Brew LLC in early 2015. We have built it into a brand that sells beverages up and down the east coast and out to Texas.

We have family and friends money invested in to the company and years of hard work and dedication. Never once did Peloton the bike reach out and ask us to stop making beverages.

5 years later now they are threatening to sue us and bullying us in to getting rid of our registered trademark for beverages made of coffee.

They are a multi billion dollar company and can bankrupt us.

You can view the full petition for cancellation Peloton filed with the USPTO here. You can also view the legal notice the USPTO generated, which details possible court dates. Peloton Cold Brew has until November 17th, 2020 to respond to the initial complaint.

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Chris Lewis
Chris Lewis is the creator & founder of Pelo Buddy. He purchased his Peloton in 2018, and uses all the different devices: Peloton Bike, Tread, Row, and Guide. He has been involved in the fitness industry for more than a decade - previously co-founding the websites Mud Run Guide & Ninja Guide. You can find him on the leaderboard at #PeloBuddy.

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