As the digital fitness wars heat up, legal teams are working overtime.
In the latest development, Nike is suing lululemon, claiming the apparel maker’s home fitness device infringes on its intellectual property.
For context: Making its foray into connected fitness, in June 2020, lululemon paid $500M to acquire MIRROR, an interactive workout screen.
Meanwhile, Nike’s Run Club and Training Club apps count tens of millions of members. But the company isn’t a newcomer to the fitness category.
- 2006: Nike introduced the Nike + iPod Sport Kit.
- 2008: The Nike+ SportBand Kit was released.
- 2011: The Nike+ SportWatch GPS made its debut.
In 2012, Nike launched the FuelBand before shuttering the wearable endeavor two years later.
On the docket. In a new lawsuit, citing decades of experience “creating game-changing digital sport technologies,” Nike claims MIRROR infringes on its patents.
In particular, Nike points to patents for capturing activity data and enabling competition between users, noting:
“Nike owns a robust portfolio of patents directed to its digital sport innovations for use in or with fitness equipment and apps, and especially for its features that drive athletes to continuously engage with a like-minded community of athletes dedicated to improving fitness and wellness.”
After notifying lululemon of the alleged infringement, which the company denies, Nike filed a lawsuit seeking compensation, as well as an order preventing MIRROR from using the patents.
What they’re saying: In response, a lululemon spokesperson said:
“The patents in question are overly broad and invalid. We are confident in our position and look forward to defending it in court.”
With no end in sight, as connected fitness becomes more competitive, the category is growing more litigious.