Lululemon and Peloton could see US imports blocked over patent infringement lawsuit

Lululemon and Peloton are being investigated for patent infringement and could see their signature home-workout devices blocked from being imported to the US.

The US International Trade Commission announced on Thursday that it was launching an investigation into Peloton, Lululemon and NordicTrack maker Icon Health & Fitness Inc.

It comes after telecommunications giant Dish filed lawsuits against the fitness retailers, accusing them of infringing patented technology in their respective streaming services.

Peloton’s bikes and treadmills allow customers to live-stream classes as they exercise, as does Lululemon’s recently launched virtual mirror.

According to Dish, the brands have used specialised technology developed and patented by its subsidiary Dish Technologies, which improves the buffering and streaming of live or recorded content without permissions.

READ MORE: Peloton sees $4bn wiped off market value as it recalls “dangerous” Tread+

It works by segmenting content into smaller units to allow it to adapt to different bandwidths, a technique reportedly being employed by the retailers thus infringing on its patents.

Alongside the lawsuits, Dish has filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission in an effort to block imports of the retailers’ respective technologies into the US.

It comes as Peloton fights another serious legal battle over the safety of its Tread and Tread+ products, after recalling them from sale earlier this month.

Last month the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned customers to stop using their treadmills “immediately” if they are near children or animals after it was made aware of 39 incidents involving the Peloton Tread+, including one fatality.

Since then Peloton has been hit with two class action lawsuits alleging it violated consumer protection laws, while further reports of injuries have come to light.

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