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Peloton Recalls Thousands of Stationary Bicycles While Facing Down Competitors’ Patent Infringement Suit

— October 20, 2020

Peloton has issued recalls for tens of thousands of stationary bike pedals following reports of product failure and injury.

Peloton, a fitness and lifestyle company best known for its stationary bicycles, has been hit with a series of mass recalls as well as a patent infringement lawsuit.

Late last week, Peloton recalled clip-on pedals for about 27,000 of its stationary bicycles after receiving numerous reports that broken pedals had injured consumers.

The recall, says The New York Times, covers pedals on bikes sold between July 2013 and May 2016. In total, the Times says the company received 120 reports of broken pedals as well as 16 resultant injuries, several of which required stitches or other emergency care.

Amelise Lane, a Peloton spokesperson, said the company remains committed to product quality and consumer safety.

“We take pride in providing the best equipment, proprietary software, and world-class streaming digital fitness content that our members love,” Lane told the New York Times.

Lane said that the recall only applies to customers whose bikes are out-of-warranty and own stationary bicycle models with reported pedal breakages.

The Times earlier called Peloton one of the “major winners of the quarantine economy,” with social distancing mandates and localized lockdowns driving many consumers to purchase home fitness products. Peloton’s success amidst the ongoing coronavirus has led to the company’s stock sextupling since the middle of March.

image of a legal gavel and books
Legal gavel and books; image courtesy of
succo via Pixabay,

However, Peloton is facing another obstacle to continued success.

Icon Health and Fitness—which owns NordicTrack along with other lines of exercise equipment and apparel—recently filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Peloton.

In the lawsuit, Icon alleges that that two “new” features in Peloton’s Bike+–a swiveling touchscreen, as well as an in-built mechanism which automatically adjusts resistance during pedaling classes—were “developed and used by Icon well before Peloton.”

Icon, says CNN Business, claims to have a pending patent on the swivel screen, as well as a patent for the resistance feature.

Interestingly, CNN notes that this is not the first time Peloton has faced off with Icon in court. Earlier this year, Peloton filed its own lawsuit against Icon, claiming the latter piggybacked off Peloton’s “innovative technology” by beginning to broadcast live classes.

Nevertheless, Icon maintains that its competitor—a comparably recent entry to the market—is simply trying to profit atop what has made Icon successful.

“As the fitness industry’s leading innovator, Icon is unfortunately accustomed to having companies copy its technology,” Icon attorneys wrote in their suit against Peloton. “Some companies, like Peloton, have built (at least in part) entire businesses on the back of Icon’s patented technology.”

Icon has alleged that Peloton CEO John Foley met with Icon prior to the release of Peloton’s first stationary bicycle in 2013.

Foley, states the lawsuit, was seeking to incorporate patented aspects of Icon’s design into his own—a request which Icon denied.

Peloton’s own attorneys say Icon’s complaint is simply retaliation for past litigation.

“[It is] nothing more than a continuation of the litigation that Peloton filed against Icon earlier this year, and is a retaliatory filing intended to deflect attention away from Icon blatant [sic] infringement of Peloton’s leaderboard technology and other deceptive practices,” said Steven Feldman, Peloton’s outside litigation counsel.

“We will vigorously defend this case in court.”


NordicTrack owner sues Peloton for allegedly stealing bike features

Peloton Recalls Pedals on Thousands of Bikes After Reports of Injury

Peloton was just hit with a patent-infringement lawsuit by the maker of NordicTrack bikes, escalating the legal battle between the two at-home fitness brands

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