Lululemon Hits Peloton With a Lawsuit for Its 'Knockoff' Designs
Once engaged in an 'amicable' co-branding relationship, the athletic brands are now in a heated legal battle.
Last week, Peloton sued fellow athletic brand Lululemon after the latter threatened to take legal action if Peloton kept selling its new clothes. On Monday, Lululemon followed through on its ultimatum and filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court, seeking damages for its rival's “willful” infringement of six design patents.
The dispute began in September, when Peloton released its own line of athletic apparel. In November, Lululemon sent a cease and desist letter to Peloton, claiming that five of Peloton's apparel products infringed on Lululemon's design patents. According to Peloton's lawsuit, the letter also "demanded that Peloton cease selling the products at issue, and stated that it would file an infringement lawsuit if Peloton refused to comply with Lululemon’s demands."
Lululemon's Monday lawsuit claims that Peloton did indeed fringe on its intellectual property, writing that Peloton did not make the effort to create an original product line. The athletic company wrote that instead, "Peloton imitated several of Lululemon’s innovative designs and sold knockoffs of Lululemon’s products, claiming them as its own."
The two companies haven't always butted heads. From 2016 to 2021, Peloton and Lululemon were actually in a co-branding relationship, with Lululemon claiming that it “supplied Peloton with some of Lululemon’s most innovative and popular athletic apparel." The clothing brand also let Peloton add its own trademarks and resell the merchandise.
But earlier this year, Peloton decided to end the co-branding deal, writing that "the burdensome and time-intensive co-branding process was not workable at the high demand levels Peloton started to experience." At the time, the end of Peloton and Lululemon's co-branding relationship was "amicable" and Lululemon "did not object in any way to Peloton’s termination decision or Peloton’s offering of its own active wear apparel."