Wahoo takes legal action against Zwift for patent infringement in smart trainer

(Photo: Wahoo)

Wahoo has sued Zwift for alleged patent infringement in their newest smart trainer. According to documents from Oct. 3 – filled at the US District Court – Wahoo accuses Zwift for breaking three patents. Without further explanation on the details, it legally concerns the following three Wahoo patents:

  • US 10,933,290 B2 – Bicycle trainer
  • US 11,090,542 B2 – System and method for controlling a bicycle trainer
  • US 10,046,222 B2 – System and method for controlling a bicycle trainer.

Zwift is not the only company that got in trouble with Wahoo, because Wahoo has also sued JetBlack Cycling Pty Ltd; the production partner for the Zwift Hub Smart Trainer. The affordable direct-drive unit was launched last month.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that, through the Kickr family, and related products, Wahoo created a revolution across the cycling industry and continues to drive demand into global bike shops during the usually quiet winter season by supporting retailers across the world with best in class displays and desirable products throughout the Kick ecosystem”, Wahoo stated in the legal documents. “Designing and manufacturing technology products is complex and expensive. Many companies have built successful Smart Trainer businesses without cutting corners and without violating patents. Wahoo encourages new entrants to indoor cycling to help drive innovation and growth. However, allowing cheap, copycat products to sell illegally in the marketplace discourages investment from legitimate companies, leading to stagnating innovation and lower product quality.”

“The Hub is identical, in all material respects, to the Kickr Core, one of Wahoo’s innovative bicycle trainers”, Wahoo continues. “By copying the Kickr Core, Zwift has infringed three of Wahoo’s patents. By marketing a copy of Wahoo’s patent-protected device, Zwift has taken a shortcut that allows it to reap the benefit of Wahoo’s innovations, but without investing the time and money necessary to create Wahoo’s innovations.”

Zwift has until Oct. 24, 2022 to respond to these accusations.