After a steady climb over the last six months, Peloton Interactive’s share price took a small hit on the stock exchange after the news yesterday that Icon Health & Fitness had filed a patent infringement suit against it in A federal court in Delaware. At $37.77 billion, Peloton’s market capitalization is still the highest in the growing fitness sector because of its stronger emphasis on connected fitness, dwarfing the $7 billion valuation recently assigned to the much bigger and older Icon through a new round of funding ahead of a possible public offering.
Icon, whose portfolio includes brands like NordicTrack, ProForm and Freemotion Fitness, claims that Peloton’s new and more advanced stationary bike violates patents that it has held since the late 1990s. They cover remotely controlled resistance during a workout and the integration of weights and treadmills to provide an aerobic and anaerobic workout, with a free weight cradle.
Furthermore, it says that NordicTrack has a patent pending on a swiveling screen that Peloton has copied through a touchscreen that users can move to perform mat-based workouts.
The suit also claims that Peloton had sought to license Icon’s former patents the year after it started out, in 2012, but Icon rejected the request with a warning not to infringe. Icon noted that Peloton paid $59 million to Flywheel in a settlement intended to force it out of the market after realizing that the suit it had filed against Flywheel was based on a patent that was likely to be declared invalid.
In the suit, Icon is seeking damages and an injunction against sales of the Bike+. Observers noted that Icon and Peloton settled a previous patent infringement suit in 2017. Last May, Peloton sued Icon because it started broadcasting live fitness classes, imitating its innovative technology and its successful business model.
Separately, Peleton has announced the recall of a model of clip-in pedals, PR70P, delivered along with 17,000 Peloton bikes sold from July 2013 to May 2016. It says they can unexpectedly break during use, causing laceration injuries. The company will send replacement pedals free of charge. It will send e-mails to customers and pop up a warning notice on the touchscreens of the connected bikes affected by the product recall.