Peloton suggests NordicTrack producer’s transfer to cease promoting bicycles

Peloton Interactive Inc. has beaten off efforts by NordicTrack exercise bike maker to block US sales of its Bike + as competitors in the hot home fitness industry struggle.

Affiliate Icon Health & Fitness Inc., which Peloton sued in October, “has not demonstrated any likelihood of success or irreparable harm,” US District Judge Richard Andrews wrote in a statement delivered Monday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware . Icon had asked the court to provisionally exclude Peloton from the sale of the Bike +, with an auto-follow feature that automatically changes resistance levels during class while the patent infringement case continues.

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Andrews said Icon “has determined that it competes directly with Peloton and that a loss of market share, and therefore subscribers, to Peloton due to the longevity of Peloton’s subscriber base, could potentially be detrimental.” But he said he doesn’t think such losses are “imminent” due to the motorcycle’s release.

The conflict is taking place amid brisk growth in the home fitness market as consumers seek ways to stay fit. Many gyms in the US are closed or are working at reduced capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The two companies previously quarreled. New York-based Peloton sued Icon in May, accusing it of copying its interactive fitness programs, and alleging that Icon copied its patented feature to bring recorded online classes to live. Peloton said at the time that Icon was “trying to release Peloton’s cutting edge technology”. A trial in this case, also in Delaware, is scheduled for October 2022.

Fine points

“Icon’s claim of planning an IPO and releasing new remote-controlled products is speculative and cannot be used as a reason to find irreparable damage without additional evidence,” the judge wrote in Monday’s statement.

Going into the intricacies of Icon’s claim, he said Peloton had “raised a significant question as to whether the resistance on the Bike + is controlled by locally stored information when using Auto Follow, and whether there is a packetized control signal on the red resistance button from Bike + is configured so that the control signal changes proportionally. “

The judgment does not mean that the product can freely enter the market. Peloton said in its quarterly earnings report on Feb. 5 that although it has “significantly increased the production of Bike and Bike + in recent months”, the offering has remained “restricted” and has “longer than acceptable wait times”.

The case is Icon Health & Fitness Inc. v Peloton Interactive Inc., 20-cv-1386, US District Court, Delaware District (Wilmington).

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