November 2021

Patent Dispute Arises Between Peloton and iFIT Over Exercise Bikes

Takeaway: Successful products will always have copycats, so it is important to always protect your intellectual property and be on the hunt for alleged infringers.

Peloton sued iFIT for allegedly infringing several of its patents related to Peloton’s fitness equipment, including its famous bikes and treadmills. Specifically, the complaint alleged that iFIT released a “copycat version” of Peloton’s “leaderboard” feature the same month as Peloton’s initial public offering.

Further, Peloton claims that iFIT also “introduced Peloton’s patented technology across all iFIT products with iFIT functionality — including not only stationary bikes and treadmills, but also rowers, ellipticals and high-intensity interval training machines.” It is unclear yet how the suit will end, but Peloton and iFIT have been battling each other for years over their respective IP rights.

Photo Credit: www. medicalnewstoday .com/articles/peloton-review


Netflix Gets its “The Umbrella Academy” IP Lawsuit Tossed

Takeaway: The difference between “substantially” and “strikingly” similar is an important distinction in one judge’s mind in determining whether a copyright suit will ultimately succeed or end up falling short.

U.S. District Judge Schroeder recently dismissed comic book illustrator Kevin Atkinson’s lawsuit against Netflix without prejudice. Atkinson sued the popular streaming platform over its show “The Umbrella Academy” for its fishbowl-headed character allegedly being substantially similar to his own fishbowl-headed villain, Kingfish, from his Rogue Satellite comic book prior to the show being aired. Judge Schroeder deemed that Atkinson must allege in greater detail how Netflix may have had the chance to copy his comic book because the two separate characters are “substantially” but not “strikingly” similar. However, the test for copyright is typically whether the accused work is “substantially” similar to the protected work.

“The unique nature of two stylized talking fish, perched in a bell-shaped jar atop a humanoid body that it controls with a front-facing voice-box, is suggestive that defendants could have copied part of Atkinson’s work… taken as a whole, the two antagonistic characters are adequately similar,” the judge wrote.


Millions of Users Affected by Robinhood Security Breach

Takeaway: As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, the question is not if but when a company will suffer a data breach of any magnitude.

Robinhood, a popular online stock and crypto-currency trading platform, recently reported that it had suffered a massive security breach. Hackers are reported to have stolen the personal information of approximately 7 million users and proceeded to demand ransom payment from Robinhood as well.

On its social media accounts, Robinhood said that the hack “has been contained” and assured the public that the majority of affected individuals had only their email addresses or full names stolen. Others less fortunate, however, have had more sensitive personal information stolen as a result of this breach.

This breach is just another reminder that any company is at risk of a cyber attack, and it is crucial to take the necessary security precautions before it is too late. Contact us to consult with one of our cybersecurity attorneys to assess your cyber risks.


Nestlé Wins Trademark Suit

Takeaway: Although a European court previously ruled in favor for Amigüitos Pets & Life in Nestlé’s attempt to challenge its trademark application for being “too similar” to its own registered trademark, Nestlé ultimately persevered.

Nestlé recently won in its pursuit to revive its European Union Nestlé logo trademark after a European court ruled the bloc’s IP office “misread” (and ultimately erred in law) an earlier decision in Amigüitos’ bid to invalidate the trademark registration. After the court sent the case back to the EUIPO, the EUIPO also ruled in favor of Amigüitos.

Amigüitos’ trademark protected the colors white, red and black in its logo with the words “The Only One.” Nestlé’s opposition was primarily focused on its earlier EU word mark ONE.

Ultimately, the judges said the board was wrong to conclude that Nestlé’s registered trademark lacked either “enhanced distinctiveness or a reputation” without “analyzing whether enhanced distinctiveness or a reputation could be established by relying on the form of another registered mark.” The court went on to say, “The review which the General Court carries out … is a review of the legality of the decisions of the boards of appeal of EUIPO, with the result that it does not have the power to substitute its own reasoning for that of a board of appeal or to carry out an assessment on which that board of appeal has not yet adopted a position.”


Cislo & Thomas LLP Spotlight

Jeffrey Sheldon and C. Wook Pak Featured Article in Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine

Congratulations to Jeffrey Sheldon, Esq. and C. Wook Pak, Esq., who wrote a featured article in Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine this month titled “A Federal Case in a State Court.” Not only is it an interesting read about unique court procedures specific to patent litigation, but by reading the article and taking the accompanying test questions, you can earn one MCLE credit.

Read the article directly HERE.

Cislo & Thomas’ Client Dr. Sabine Hazan Obtains Ground-Breaking Patent for “Methods of Treating COVID-19 Infection”

Cislo & Thomas LLP client Dr. Sabine Hazan, CEO of Progenabiome and Ventura County-based gastroenterologist, has been dedicated to fighting COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. Dr. Hazan conducted a number of FDA clinical trials showing the efficacy of her unique medications to successfully treat COVID-19. Dr. Hazan and her team’s hard work has paid off, as they have been granted U.S. Patent No. 11,166,971 for “Methods of Treating COVID-19 Infection,” along with many other patents pending.
Patent Attorney Katherine Sales, who helped Dr. Hazan with this filing, says, “I am so honored to be working with Dr. Hazan, who is such an inspirational woman. I can’t wait to see how her important research and development helps humanity, and I look forward to continuing to protect her innovations.”

Dr. Hazan knew early on that the vaccination route had very limited utility over time. Her early treatment will prove more effective in the battle against COVID-19.

Cislo & Thomas LLP in U.S. News & World Report’s the Twelfth Edition of the “Best Law Firms” ranking

We’ve done it again! We are proud to announce that we have been honored as a Tier 1 Best Law Firm recipient in the 2022 Best Lawyers of U.S. News & World Report! This means that our firm has been peer-reviewed and recognized as an excellent quality law practice in intellectual property.

As always, we owe this honor to our incredible clients, to whom we strive to provide Quality Client Care® every day. Thank you!


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