The word “spin” has been officially trademarked since the late 1990’s. Which means a billion dollar company like Peloton is not allowed to use that word in promotions the way they feel they should be able to.
So, they are fighting to get the patent cancelled, and have already filed an appeal with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Mad Dogg Athletics owns the patents to both spin and “spinning.” Peloton is trying to make the argument that “spin class and spin bike are part of the fitness lexicon.”
In essence, Peloton believes the words are generic terms that describe a particular type of exercise bike and class.
Let’s just say Mad Dogg disagrees. They’ve already gone to court and sued Peloton, claiming that the Peloton products actually infringe on their bike patents they’ve attained. That is what some believe caused Peloton to fight back against Mad Dogg, in fact Bloomberg called Peloton’s actions to reverse the patents “retaliatory.”
Bloomberg pointed out that Peloton has some precedent in their favor, and there have been some very high-profile examples of words that lost their protective status when they entered common usage as product categories. Two examples they listed were “murphy bed” and “escalator.”
The bottom line is for now, Mad Dogg owns exclusive rights to those words, and they aren’t budging. They even have a page on their website that tells potential users of the words spin and spinning what they can and cannot do.
This is a case that if you follow it too closely will literally make your head spin.