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Nike Makes Move to Sue Lululemon

Nike Makes Move to Sue Lululemon

Nike claims Mirror is guilty of patent infringement

Is Nike the OG of fitness tech? The sportswear company filed a lawsuit this week accusing Lululemon of patent infringement. Nike is alleging that Lululemon’s full-size at-home fitness Mirror and mobile apps are similar to its own patented tech. Nike may be spending time creating its own Metaverse, but the athletic apparel company is still looking to protect its tech tangibles. 

In a Manhattan U.S. District Court filing, Nike maintains that it has spent decades creating tech for its consumers as early as 1983, when the company says it created and filed a patent on a device that determines speed, distance, and calories.  Nike notes that it created a sensor in a runner’s shoe, and this early technology led to the creation of the Nike+ iPod system collaboration with Apple in 2006. Nike also cited its tech advancements with the Nike+ SportWatch and Nike+ FuelBand products in 2011 and 2012.

Nike alleges that Mirror’s interactive products and apps are using the tech that Nike created and patented. In court papers, Nike says that it “owns a robust portfolio of patents directed to its digital sport innovations for use in or with fitness equipment and apps, and especially for its features that drive athletes to continuously engage with a like-minded community of athletes dedicated to improving fitness and wellness.” 

Prior to filing the lawsuit, Nike says it notified Lululemon of its infringement claims back in November 2021 and states that Lululemon “summarily dismissed Nike’s claims.” 

The sportswear company says Lululemon continues to make and sell Mirror Home Gym and its mobile apps “without Nike’s authorization and in violation of Nike’s patents.” 

According to CNBC, a spokesperson for Lululemon stated, “The patents in question are overly broad and invalid. We are confident in our position and look forward to defending it in court.” The statement was made in an e-mail. 

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Lululemon is currently battling Peloton, with allegations of its own. The athleisure company says that Peloton has infringed on its intellectual property rights regarding apparel designs. Lululemon says that Peloton has infringed on six of its patented designs.

Nike may have more lawsuits on the way, as Lululemon reportedly has plans this year to launch a footwear line, competing with the likes of Nike and Adidas. Lululemon had leased 28k square feet in Portland in anticipation of the shoe line and was looking to hire a footwear biomechanics lead. The Portland Business Journal reported that Portland-area employees who have recently onboarded with Lululemon have career backgrounds with Nike, Adidas, and Columbia.

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