Peloton Interactive is the latest company in the exercise equipment and fitness space to become aggressive in its assertion of patent rights. The well-publicized battles with Echelon Fitness are one example. In late 2020, Peloton also took on former litigation champ Icon Health and Fitness in a lawsuit filed in the District of Delaware.
On April 13, 2021, however, Peloton found itself on the receiving end of a patent infringement complaint filed by Dish Technologies and Sling TV in the Eastern District of Texas. The lawsuit asserts infringement of five Dish Interactive patents that relate to multi-bitrate content streaming and/or adaptive-rate shifting of streaming content. The patents are listed here:
- U.S. Patent No. 9,407,564, Apparatus, system, and method for adaptive-rate shifting of streaming content
- U.S. Patent No. 10,469,554, Apparatus, system, and method for multi-bitrate content streaming
- U.S. Patent No. 10,469,555, Apparatus, system, and method for multi-bitrate content streaming
- U.S. Patent No. 10,757,156, Apparatus, system, and method for adaptive-rate shifting of streaming content
- U.S. Patent No. 10,951,680, Apparatus, system, and method for multi-bitrate content streaming
The Complaint filed by Dish and Sling asserts that the patents-at-issue were originally filed by a set of inventors from MOVE Networks that “knew that media streaming had not reached its full potential and that, through research and improvement it was possible that streaming could rival the quality of cable and satellite delivered content.” The complaint goes on to characterize the solution proposed in the asserted patents as HTTP-based Adaptive Bitrate Streaming.
Turning to the Peloton offerings, the Dish/Sling complaint argues that streaming technology is at the core of the Peloton experience, citing to a statement from Peloton’s Chief Technology Officer: “Streaming is the core experience.” The complaint then goes on to assert direct and indirect infringement of at least one claim from each of the asserted patents.
Dish and Sling are represented by Baker Botts. No attorney has entered its appearance on behalf of Peloton to date.
The latest spate of exercise equipment patent litigation has taken another turn. We will keep an eye on developments.