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Dish sues fitness giants Peloton, Lululemon and Icon over streaming technology

April 14, 2021, 3:52 PM UTC
Users have been able to stream content from across the world in real time at the highest possible quality while exercising.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Dish Network Corp. and its Sling TV unit filed lawsuits accusing three of the biggest players in streaming at-home fitness programs of infringing patents for technology that improves the quality of video content over the internet.

The suits, filed Tuesday in federal courts in Texas and Delaware, accuse Peloton Interactive Inc., NordicTrack maker Icon Health & Fitness Inc. and Mirror owner Lululemon Athletica Inc. of using Dish’s patented technology that “allows Internet users to stream content from across the world in real time at the highest possible quality.”

Dish and Sling also filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, seeking to block imports of Peloton, NordicTrack and Mirror products into the U.S., according to a notice posted on the agency’s website. A copy of the complaint wasn’t immediately available.

The patents relate to ways of improving the quality of streaming, particularly when users do things like fast-forward or rewind programs, according to the complaints. They also allow for browsing of multiple streams without hiccups and adjust for a user’s bandwidth, Dish said. The technology is used by Sling, which offers a small bundle of live TV channels streamed over the internet starting at $10 a month, the company said.

The technology was developed by Move Networks Inc., which was bought by Dish in 2010.

Dish sued Spanish-language TV broadcaster Univision Communications Inc. in 2019 over the same technology. The companies settled the same year.

The cases are Dish Technologies LLC v. Peloton Interactive Inc., 2:21-cv-132, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Marshall); v. lululemon athletica inc., 21-cv-532; and v. Icon Health & Fitness Inc., 21-cv-531, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).