On November 9th, 2021, Peloton was granted U.S. Patent No. 11,170,886. This is a continuation of their “Exercise System & Method” patents, which covers some of the functionality and core software interface of the Peloton experience. They have been granted follow-up patents on this several times over the years as Peloton continues to make enhancements to the software.
On Friday, November 12th, Peloton filed a new lawsuit in court against both Echelon and iFit (formerly known as ICON Health & Fitness, makers of NordicTrack), alleging their products infringe on Peloton’s new patent, as well as a separate patent Peloton owns.
These lawsuits are 1:21-cv-01605-UNA for Peloton v iFit, and 1:21-cv-01607-UNA for Peloton v Echelon – both filed in the US District Court for Delaware.
Peloton claims in the lawsuits that under these two patents, the way Peloton allows you to compete against other members (and the ability to see their output remotely, and in sync with you) in both live and on-demand classes is now patented – and both Echelon and NordicTrack products are infringing on this. They specifically highlight this during “live sessions of on-demand classes”, as you might encounter while taking a class as a Session. Peloton also points out that their leaderboard continues to grow over time as more members take the classes.
From the lawsuit:
[The] collected live performance parameters are used in subsequent sessions of the exercise class to enable ghost participants. That innovative technology provides classes that include an ever-growing list of participants. Each live session of an on-demand class changes the competitive make-up of the class and presents users with a different set of competitors to challenge on Peloton’s leaderboard.
In the lawsuit against iFit, Peloton further alleges trademark infringement on patents previously owned by Precor, which are now owned by Peloton thanks to their acquisition of Precor. Peloton claims that the new SmartAdjust and ActivePulse features on NordicTrack equipment running iFit software infringes on Precor (now Peloton) patents. Peloton also claims that some of the NordicTrack treadmills are designed with an air dam component, which infringe on Precor/Peloton patents.
This lawsuit is the next step in a series of legal battle between these companies.
In April, iFit (who were previously called Icon Health & Fitness) sued Peloton over several features of the new Bike+. This was the second lawsuit iFit filed against Peloton on the Bike+, as they filed suit under a separate patent as well. Peloton has pending lawsuits against iFit for alleged theft of Trade Secrets, and a separate patent issue and misleading advertising.
Peloton first sued Echelon in 2019 for patent infringement, and Echelon counter sued in 2020 to invalidate some of Peloton’s patents. Earlier this year the USPTO agreed to examine at least one of those patents.
Want to be sure to never miss any Peloton news? Sign up for our newsletter and get all the latest Peloton updates & Peloton rumors sent directly to your inbox.
All the Peloton, iFit, and Echelon equipment looks like it was manufactured by the same Chinese factory. Of course the equipment is similar.
As for leaderboards, I’ve seen them in the backrooms of auto dealerships. The concept is not unique. There are some ghosts or fake people on the leaderboards, but there is fake air space in my boxes of raisins. Nothing new here.