Back in June 2020, Lululemon got into the flourishing home gym market in the midst of the pandemic by purchasing home fitness startup Mirror for $500 million. Now, Nike has filed a lawsuit against the company over Mirror, accusing it of patent infringement. According to CNBC and The Wall Street Journal, Nike's lawsuit allege that Mirror — a full-size interactive mirror that brings a live fitness instructor into the user's home — and its apps use technologies that it invented and patented.
The sports apparel giant specifically mentioned that it filed a patent application in 1983 for a device that can prompt users to exercise, monitor their heart rate, determine their speed while running and the calories they burned. Nike also has a number of mobile apps for fitness, including the Nike Run Club and Nike Training Club.
Nike sent Lululemon a list of patents it allegedly infringed on back on November 3rd. As you'd expect, the company more known for making yoga pants and other types of gym clothes disagreed with Nike's assessment. A spokesperson told the publications in a statement that the patents "in question are overly broad and invalid." They also said that Lululemon is confident in its position and "look forward to defending it in court."
Mirror operates as a standalone company within Lululemon, putting the workout clothes-maker in direct competition with the likes of Peloton and Tonal. Lululemon CEO Clavin McDonald previously said that the purchase was all about connecting with consumers, because they're bound to spend more the more they engage with the brand. Last month, however, the company halved its sales forecast for the device, calling 2021 "a challenging year for digital fitness."
This isn't the only patent-related legal battle Lululemon is embroiled in. Last year, it filed a patent infringement lawsuit of its own against Peloton, alleging that the design the other company used for a new line of leggings and sports bras infringe on its intellectual property.