On Wednesday, November 30, Lululemon filed a lawsuit against Peloton, because of their “copycat” athletic clothing products.
It started off as a partnership between the two most recognised home and fitness companies in the world, Lululemon (an athletic clothing company) and Peloton (an exercise equipment company). According to court documents, the two companies reached a deal in 2016 that allowed Peloton to put its logo alongside Lululemon’s on certain Lululemon products that were then sold through Peloton’s retail outfits.
The lawsuit comes after Peloton ended the co-branding agreement with Lululemon earlier this year and announced its own private label, Peloton Apparel, in September 2021. In documents filed in a U.S. court on Monday (November 22), the athletic apparel retailer claims Peloton copied several of Lululemon’s innovative designs and sold “knock-offs” of Lululemon’s products, claiming them as their own. Lululemon filed a claim in California District Court on Tuesday (November 23), accusing Peloton of patent infringement. A patent infringement is the commission of a prohibited act with respect to a patented invention without permission from the patent holder.
On Nov. 11, Lululemon sent Peloton a cease-and-desist letter asking the company to “immediately stop selling its copy-cat products” — pointing to Peloton’s One Lux Tight which is almost identical to one of Lululemon’s all-time best-selling products (The Align Pant), their Strappy Bra, Cadent Laser Dot Legging, and many more products. According to the Lululemon lawsuit, Peloton said it needed until Nov. 24 to respond to the accusations. But instead of a letter back, Peloton filed its own lawsuit in the Southern District of New York, citing Lululemon’s “baseless threats” and asking a judge to declare that the company had done nothing wrong.
Peloton also claims that the brands of both companies are distinctive and well-recognized, “making confusion between products a virtual impossibility.” But in a series of exhibits filed with a California court, Lululemon alleges several Peloton styles are nearly identical to Lululemon products. Lululemon also claims that it is “likely to cause confusion, cause mistake, and to deceive” customers into thinking Peloton Apparel has a partnership with Lululemon.
Lululemon has spent “enormous time, effort, and expense cultivating in the marketplace,” according to the company and Peloton is not taking this into consideration.
Peloton is also accused of attempting to copy Lululemon’s clothing designs and pass off its goods as Lululemon’s high-quality products in order to misappropriate the immense goodwill that Lululemon has spent enormous time, effort, and expense cultivating in the marketplace,” according to the company.
In an emailed statement, Shannon Higginson, Lululemon general counsel and senior vice-president, said: “We are confident in our position and look forward to properly resolving this case through the courts.”
Peloton said it would not comment on this lawsuit.