Nike Sues lululemon for Patent Infringement Over Mirror, Fitness Apps
Nike on Wednesday filed a lawsuit accusing lululemon athletica of patent infringement over the apparel maker’s at-home Mirror fitness device and related mobile applications, reports CNBC. Nike claims that in 1983, it invented and filed a patent application on a device for determining a runner’s speed, distance traversed, elapsed time and calories expended. It has also since launched a range of popular mobile apps such as Nike Run Club and Nike Training Club.
Nike said it holds a number of other fitness equipment patents that lululemon is infringing on by selling Mirror, a wall-mounted device that guides users through a variety of high-intensity cardio classes and other exercises. Prior to filing the lawsuit, Nike said it notified lululemon on Nov. 3 of the alleged infringement and that the leggings maker dismissed Nike’s claims.
Total Retail's Take: At-home fitness offerings have flooded the marketplace during the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers worked out in their homes while gyms were closed. lululemon jumped on the trend alongside many athletic retailers and brands, buying Mirror for $500 million in June 2020. The device puts the company in competition with rivals such as Peloton, Hydrow, and Tonal.
Prior to filing the lawsuit, Nike outlined six patents it claims lululemon is infringing upon, yet lululemon dismissed the athletics giant's claims in December. A spokesperson for lululemon said in an emailed statement, “The patents in question are overly broad and invalid. We're confident in our position and look forward to defending it in court.”
lululemon is currently embroiled in another legal battle, this one with Peloton. In late November, it filed a patent lawsuit against the connected fitness company in a feud over the designs of its sports bras and leggings. These lawsuits draw questions for the many other companies that have launched into at-home fitness with apps and products, and lead to the potential for more legal action coming in the space.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Total Retail and sister brands Women in Retail Leadership Circle and Women Leading Travel & Hospitality at NAPCO Media. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for all brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, WLT&H or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment—or at home on Zoom—recording interviews with thought leaders and business executives.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her family and two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.