November 17th, 2020
Legal Troubles for Peloton
With the COVID-19 pandemic came the rise of Peloton. For many across the United States who had no access to gyms because of the various Stay at Home Orders, Peloton seemed like the best solution to their problem. This is proven by the fact that Peloton’s global membership base hit 3.1 million at the end of June 2020 which is more than double its membership a year earlier. While business may seem to be thriving for Peloton, Peloton has had to deal with its fair share of legal troubles as well.
According to CNN Business, “the maker of NordicTrack and other in-home fitness brands has sued Peloton, claiming its cycling rival stole features for its newest stationary bike. The lawsuit filed by Icon Health and Fitness . . . alleges patent infringement. Icon claims that two new features in Peloton's Bike+ — a swiveling touchscreen and the bike automatically changing resistance during classes — were "developed and used by Icon well before Peloton."
Icon said it has a patent pending on the swivel screen and holds a patent on the resistance feature, which Peloton calls "auto-follow." Both features are used on Icon's current line of products, which also includes iFit and FreeMotion brands that make several varieties of gym equipment including bikes and treadmills.” While Peloton denies the accusations, it appears that this will be the first of many suits in which it will have to defend its brand and its technology.
In addition to patent and copyright disputes, Peloton may also be facing a wave of litigation brought by its members who were injured on its bike. Specifically, Peloton has most recently issued a recall for first-generation Peloton pedals over concerns that they can break unexpectedly and injure riders. In Peloton’s Recall Statement, Peloton stated that it has received 120 reports of pedal breakages and sixteen reports of injuries. While Peloton has been proactive in recalling these pedals before injuries spike, it remains to be seen how many other individuals will come forward with injuries they have sustained as a result of their Peloton bike pedals. Stay tuned to see how these legal events play out over the course of the next few months.