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Therabody Sues Hyperice for Defamation in Latest Escalation

Therabody Sues Hyperice for Defamation in Latest Escalation

In an escalating legal battle in the wellness tech industry, Therabody has filed a lawsuit against rival Hyperice for defamation, trade libel and related causes of action, the company announced. Therabody filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Friday.

Therabody’s lawsuit is not one of intellectual property, but of defamation, injury to reputation and trade libel, which is the publication of a false statement of fact that results in monetary damages, and other related claims.

The wellness tech company alleges that Hyperice made defamatory statements to an athletics store that carries Therabody products, as well as at a trade show. Therabody also asserted false advertising and unfair competition in violation of the California Business and Professions Code, in addition to the common law claims of defamation and trade libel.

Wellness Tech Wars

Therabody’s defamation suit comes after Hyperice filed lawsuits for patent infringement against Therabody and several other brands earlier this year. Friday’s filing demonstrates that Therabody will go beyond merely defending itself in the patent infringement case.

“Dr. Jason Wersland invented the Theragun in February 2008. Therabody has always been a leader in wellness technology and has secured over 600 global patents,” said Therabody CEO Monty Sharma. “As a response to the statements that Hyperice made referring to us as imitators after it filed its lawsuit against us in January 2024, today we filed suit against them for defamation, trade libel and related causes of action.”

In a statement provided to Athletech News, Hyperice CEO Jim Huether said he believes the defamation suit is an attempt by Therabody to shift the focus away from the patent-infringement litigation involving the two brands.

“As we have previously stated, we firmly believe that almost all of Therabody’s percussion devices infringe on our IP, including the Theragun PRO, Theragun Sense, Theragun Elite, Theragun Prime, Theragun Mini, Theragun Relief, TheraFace PRO, and TheraFace LED,” Huether said. “We believe today’s actions by Therabody are a baseless attempt to shift the focus away from their infringing activity. We will continue to move aggressively against infringing parties to enforce and protect our IP.”

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The massage gun market is valued at $542.6 million and will likely reach over $1 billion in the coming years. Earlier this year, Hyperice filed a suit against Therabody and other wellness tech companies for infringing U.S. Patent No. 11,857482, which claims technology dating back to 2013 that is used in products like the Hypervolt 2 and Hypervolt Go 2 massage guns.

In 2019 and early 2020, Therabody filed patent infringement lawsuits against Hyperice and Achedaway, which resulted in Achedaway agreeing to a cease and desist and Hyperice agreeing to stop selling one of its massage devices.  

This story has been updated to include comments from Hyperice CEO Jim Huether.

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