World

Lululemon sues Peloton over ‘copy cat’ workout outfit

Lululemon Athletica Canada Inc. filed a lawsuit against exercise equipment company Peloton Interactive Inc., accusing the treadmill and stationary bike maker of patent infringement.

In documents filed in US court on Monday, the Vancouver-based sportswear retailer claims Peloton is infringing multiple patents for designing and selling “fake” bras and pants.

The lawsuit comes after Peloton ended its co-branding deal with Lululemon earlier this year and announced its own label, Peloton Apparel, in September.

Lululemon alleges Peloton is selling “cat clones” that closely resemble some of the retailer’s best-selling designs, including a pair of workout pants and a popular lace-up sports bra.

“Unlike innovators like Lululemon, Peloton didn’t put in the time, effort and expense to create an original product line,” Lululemon alleges in court documents.

“Instead, Peloton copied some of Lululemon’s innovative designs and sold imitations of Lululemon products, claiming to be their own.”

The retailer said it initially sent Peloton a cease-and-desist letter, expressing concern about the exercise equipment maker’s “flagrant misappropriation” of Lululemon’s product designs, according to the document. of the court.

Lululemon said Peloton asked for an extension to respond to those allegations, but then used the delay to “secretly prepare its own complaint and pre-process the lawsuit that Lululemon explicitly threatened .”

Last week, Peloton sued Lululemon, asking a US court to declare that it did not infringe on Lululemon’s patents.

“Lululemon’s allegations have no merit,” Peloton stated in documents filed in a New York court.

“Even a quick comparison of Lululemon’s patented designs with the alleged infringing Peloton products reveals a plethora of obvious and obvious differences that allow the products to be easily distinguished. .”

Peloton also claims that both companies’ trademarks are distinct and well-recognised “making it virtually impossible to confuse products.”

But in a series of evidence filed in California courts, Lululemon alleges that some of the Peloton designs closely resemble Lululemon products.

One design the retailer flagged as the Align pants, a pair of leggings that Lululemon calls one of the “all-time bestsellers”.

Lululemon accused the Peloton style of being an imitation of Align pants, with similar waistbands and stitching.

The Canadian retailer said the similarities between Peloton’s products and Lululemon’s “iconic designs” were “potentially confusing, confusing and misleading” customers into thinking Peloton’s apparel was made manufactured in association with Lululemon.

The company alleges Peloton’s intention to “blatantly copy Lululemon’s exclusive designs and treat its merchandise as high-quality Lululemon products in order to appropriate the great goodwill that Lululemon has spent so much time on.” , effort and expense to build in the marketplace.”

In an emailed statement, Shannon Higginson, general counsel and senior vice president of Lululemon, said: “We are confident in our position and look forward to properly resolving this case through the courts of law. .”

Peloton said it would not comment on ongoing litigation.

This Canadian Press report was first published on November 30, 2021.

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