Icon Health and Fitness, owner of NordicTrack and Altra Footwear, is suing five different tracking technology companies for patent infringement.
The Utah-based fitness company claims Garmin, MapMyFitness, Polar Electro, Strava and FitnessKeeper have all violated two of its patents – one filed in 2005 and another filed in 2001. All of the lawsuits were filed in November and December of 2011, and attorneys from all five companies have until the end of this month to file responses, something none have done yet.
Icon claims the companies have infringed patents by offering devices that allow users to capture exercise data such as heart rate and blood pressure, and upload them onto various websites and programs.
Icon’s Vice President of Marketing, Colleen Logan, confirmed the company has brought suit against a few companies, but declined to get into the details.
“I can’t comment on an active lawsuit,” Logan told SNEWS. A similar response was heard from Justin McCarthy, spokesperson for Garmin. “We can’t speak in regards to any current litigation against Garmin or involving Garmin.”
This isn’t Icon’s first bout with litigation. According to court documents, Icon has been involved in more than 150 lawsuits since 1991.
And patent litigation is no stranger to the company being that, according to the company’s website, it holds 223 issued patents and has another 107 pending.
The most recent lawsuit being that against Garmin, which Icon said infringed its "800 patent" covering “methods and systems for controlling an exercise apparatus using a USB-compatible portable remote device.” According to the lawsuit, Icon claims Garmin’s FR70 monitoring device, heart rate monitors and its Garmin Connect Website all infringe its patent.
The lawsuit also stated Garmin infringed Icon's "271 patent," which is for “the method and apparatus for using physical characteristic data collected from two or more subjects,” with that data including heart rate or blood pressure.