Tit for Tat: Sports Apparel Giants Under Armour and Adidas Continue to Attack Each Other’s Patents

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On Thursday, March 3, 2016, Under Armour argued to a Delaware federal judge that an Adidas patent for certain workout-tracking software and devices is overly broad. This is the latest development amidst a slew of ongoing intellectual property lawsuits between major sports apparel companies.

This particular dispute arises out of a lawsuit filed by Adidas in 2014, alleging that Under Armour infringed upon no less than ten mobile fitness patents owned by Adidas. Adidas further claimed that Under Armour’s director of innovation and research was a former senior innovation engineering manager with Adidas and that therefore, Under Armour “has direct knowledge of Adidas’ patent portfolio, including the patents asserted in [the] complaint.”

Under Armour, with its subsidiary MapMyFitness Inc., is currently seeking to invalidate the Adidas patent on grounds that it purportedly attempts to cover both a particular “location-aware” wearable training system as well as the method for using it. In February, it argued that six of the ten patents Adidas claims it infringed upon relate to abstract ideas and are thus invalid; that methods for recommending routes have existed for thousands of years and Adidas’ claims simply relate to the computerization of those methods.

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