Tonal Sues Chinese Rival Speediance


The connected fitness patent wars rage on.

The latest: Smart strength system maker Tonal sued Chinese rival Speediance, challenging both its product and marketing.

  • Tonal’s suit alleges infringement of six patents relating to construction and function.
  • It requests monetary compensation or royalty payments for lost sales.
  • It seeks to block any further production of Speediance’s Gym Monster product.

Beyond the machine, Tonal is also pursuing false advertising charges, highlighting Speediance’s use of the phrase “Tonal killer” and claiming it used a fake Amazon review service.

What it means: Tonal’s broad, 2017-filed patent for “digital strength training” was bound to spur legal battles. But patent infringement suits in the connected fitness world are nothing new.

  • Last fall, Hydrow settled its case against iFIT’s NordicTrack rowers, forcing iFIT to alter its design.
  • Around the same time, Peloton settled all open litigation with rival Echelon.
  • After coming to terms on their own dispute, iFIT and Peloton lost a patent case to DISH relating to streaming technology this February, which the latter settled for $75M.

Punchline: A highly litigious space, most cases are eventually resolved—in a settlement, dismissal, or legal dead-end—often resulting in minimal gain. As Tonal and other smart equipment makers confront fading sales and tight outside funding, taking on a dupe might cost more than it’s worth.

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