ICON denied its request to stop sales of Peloton’s Bike+ over auto-resistance technology

We reported last October that ICON had sued Peloton over the Swivel Screen and Auto-Follow technology that Peloton debuted in the Bike+. ICON’s argument is that it was issued a patent for the auto-resistance feature in 2007 and the swivel screen in 2019.

Bloomberg has reported that ICON has been denied its request to stop the sales of Peloton’s Bike+:

ICON has failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits or irreparable harm,” U.S. District Judge Richard Andrews wrote in an opinion issued Monday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

During a December hearing on the preliminary injunction request, ICON painted a picture of where the two companies are fighting for a long-term relationship with each fitness subscriber. ICON estimates it will retain a subscriber on its iFit platform for nine years. Peloton estimates 13-year retention for each fitness subscriber.

In his opinion Monday, Andrews said that Icon had “established that it competes directly with Peloton and that a loss of market share, and thus subscribers, to Peloton has the potential to be damaging due to the longevity of Peloton’s subscriber base.” But he said he didn’t believe such losses were “imminent” as a result of the bike’s release.

“Icon’s assertion that it is planning an IPO and planning to release new remote-control products is speculative and cannot serve as the grounds for finding irreparable harm without additional evidence,” the judge wrote.

The judge later said that Peloton had raised substantial questions about the patent.

“Peloton has raised a substantial question as to whether the resistance on the Bike+ when using Auto Follow is controlled via locally stored information, and, assuming the existence of a packetized control signal, whether the Bike+’s red resistance knob is configured to effect a proportional change to the control signal.

Peloton is also suing ICON over patents for copying the company’s interactive fitness programs, and its patented feature for making on-demand online classes will see a live jury trial in that case, also in Delaware and set for October 2022.

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