Lululemon fires back at Peloton in growing feud over clothing patents

An employee restocks clothes on display at the Lululemon Athletica sports apparel store on Regent Street in London.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Lululemon on Monday filed an anticipated patent lawsuit against Peloton, in a growing feud over the designs of its sports bras and leggings.

In the suit, filed in the Central District of California, Lululemon said it is seeking injunction against Peloton’s infringement of its intellectual property rights. It’s also asking for damages and other monetary relief.

The suit comes just a few days after Peloton sought a court’s declaration that it has not infringed on any of Lululemon’s patents. Peloton has maintained that its own athletic apparel merchandise is easy to decipher from Lululemon’s. It also said Lululemon’s clothing designs are too “obvious” to merit patent protection.

The quarrel between the two companies comes after Peloton earlier this year rolled out a massive marketing blitz for its own apparel line. The connected fitness equipment manufacturer for years sold apparel from brands such as Nike and Lululemon, with its “P” logo tacked on. But it recently decided to pivot and invest in manufacturing its own leggings, sports bras and workout tanks for women and men.

Lululemon said Peloton has infringed on six of its patented designs in the process.

“Peloton did not spend the time, effort, and expense to create an original product line,” Lululemon said in the lawsuit. “Instead, Peloton imitated several of Lululemon’s innovative designs and sold knock-offs of Lululemon’s products, claiming them as its own.”

A Peloton spokesperson declined to comment on the ongoing litigation.

On Nov. 11, Lululemon’s lawyers sent a note to Peloton saying the company would sue unless Peloton stopped selling its new clothes.

Lululemon said in its suit that Peloton then wrote back and asked for more time to respond. However, it said, “Peloton used the delay to secretly prepare its own complaint and preempt the lawsuit that Lululemon had so clearly threatened in its letter.”

Peloton shares closed Monday down 4.4%, having dropped 71% year to date. Lululemon shares ended trading up 1.5%, having rallied more than 33% so far this year.

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