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Lululemon and Peloton embroiled in lawsuits over design patents

On 29 November, Lululemon Athletica Canada Inc. (“Lululemon”) filed to sue Peloton Interactive Inc. (“Peloton”) in California alleging infringement of six different US design patents in a high-profile legal battle in the athletic leisure apparel space. Peloton has pre-emptively filed on 24 November in New York.

The situation is not always this tense between the two companies. In 2016, Lululemon and Peloton launched a co-branding relationship, with Lululemon providing Peloton with apparel, and Peloton selling the merchandise with its own trademark alongside Lululemon’s logo.

However, earlier this year, Peloton ended the relationship and shortly after announced its own private label, Peloton Apparel. In response, Lululemon accused Peloton of copying its designs and pushing out copycat products.

Legal experts suggest that the infringement claim may be difficult to prove because subtle variations could be enough for a court to dismiss complaints of infringement. However, the legal experts feel that Lululemon has a strong case with its allegation of unfair competition especially given the timing of Peloton’s actions.

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