The just lately filed patent infringement lawsuit by Peloton towards Icon has drawn its first blood. Peloton had moved to dismiss sure counterclaims introduced by Icon within the lawsuit, together with:
- Icon’s declare of patent infringement, as a result of Peloton claimed a license to the topic patents; and
- Icon’s declare of false promoting as a result of the Peloton promoting statements complained of have been non-actionable puffery or in any other case not deceptive.
In the decision by District Court Judge Richard Andrews within the District of Delaware, Icon’s claims of patent infringement survive for now, though Icon did lose a few claims for false promoting.
Again in 2017, Icon and Peloton entered right into a license settlement referring to the 2 patents Icon asserts anew within the current Peloton/Icon battle. These patents relate to Icon’s iFit know-how. Key to this litigation is language from that license settlement that it covers “…the prevailing Peloton Bike and considerably comparable merchandise/applied sciences.”
At difficulty within the current lawsuit is Peloton’s treadmill, which was not in manufacturing on the time of the license settlement. The authorized difficulty for the Court docket, subsequently, was whether or not the Peloton Tread product is “considerably comparable” to the Peloton Bike. Whether it is, then the 2017 license will cowl the Peloton Tread, eradicating any potential legal responsibility for Peloton relative to the topic iFit patents.
At this preliminary stage of the continuing, the Court docket discovered that it should resolve any ambiguities in Icon’s favor (towards the movant on this movement to dismiss, Peloton). And, usually, the Court docket did discover it ambiguous as as to whether the Peloton treadmill was a considerably comparable product or know-how, as in comparison with the Peloton bike. Thus, Icon’s patent infringement claims survive … for now.
The second main assertion in Peloton’s movement to dismiss was that Icon’s claims of false promoting must be dismissed. These allegations fell inside three broad classes:
- innovation-type statements;
- competitor-type statements; and
- ads providing music performance.
The Court docket break up the child, providing partial victories/defeats to each events.
The “innovation” statements complained of by Icon included statements by Peloton that it was an “innovator” and “a hardcore know-how firm” that had developed a product that was “the primary of its form.” Relative to the primary two statements, the courtroom discovered that they have been non-actionable puffery on condition that they weren’t topic to goal measurement. Relative to the final assertion, the Court docket analogized this assertion to the statements reminiscent of a product that’s “new and improved” – a puffery assertion that has lengthy been held to be non-actionable. As such, Icon’s declare that the “innovation-type” statements by Peloton have been false promoting was dismissed with out prejudice.
Equally, Icon’s claims towards the “competitor-type” statements have been additionally dismissed. These statements comprised commentary from Peloton’s CEO that implied that Peloton had no rivals, reminiscent of that “no one else supplies [certain features], so we’re form of a class of 1.” In granting this portion of Peloton’s movement to dismiss, the Court docket held that broad, generalized claims of superiority should not statements of reality and are, subsequently, not actionable.
Lastly, Icon did salvage its false promoting assertion relative to sure Peloton Instagram adverts referring to musical choices. In these ads, Peloton directed clients to “our @spotify playlists…” However, per Icon’s grievance, these playlists contained songs that Peloton didn’t have the rights to, in view of a 2019 copyright lawsuit referring to Peloton’s music streaming. The Court docket discovered that, in view of the possibility that these ads may mislead or confuse clients, Peloton’s movement to dismiss these claims is denied, at the moment.
Litigation isn’t any stranger to both Icon or Peloton, so it’s no shock that the battle has been engaged in earnest. We are going to maintain you apprised of additional developments.