The Nautilus Group, Inc. on Friday responded to the January 13 press release issued by Icon Health and Fitness regarding a legal case involving it and The Nautilus Group in Salt Lake City, Utah. In order to correct certain misleading and inaccurate statements made in that press release, The Nautilus Group issues the following response.
- No Court has issued a ruling on January 13, 2005 holding that Nautilus falsely advertised its products
- The Court has not issued a ruling that “Nautilus false advertising counterclaims against Icon” have been fully adjudicated in Icon’s favor. Nautilus does have existing claims against Icon for false advertising in Utah
- The case which is the subject of Icon’s press release has nothing to do with Nautilus lawsuit against Icon for patent and trademark infringement arising out of Icon’s “CrossBow” product, which is filed in Seattle, WA. That is a separate action still scheduled for trial in federal court in Seattle and is unaffected by any events in Utah.
Icon’s press release concerns a suit filed between Icon and Nautilus in the federal district court in Salt Lake City Utah entitled Icon Health and Fitness, Inc. vs. Nautilus Group Inc., Case No. 1:02CV00109TC (the “Utah Litigation”). The Utah Litigation deals with several alleged false advertising and trademark violation claims filed by Icon against Nautilus involving treadmills and the manner in which Nautilus advertised its Bowflex® strength machine and also certain claims made by Nautilus against Icon.
The Utah Litigation should not be confused with Nautilus claim against Icon in Seattle, Washington entitled Nautilus Group Inc. vs. Icon Health and Fitness, Case No. C02-2420 P and C02-2420 RSM in which Nautilus is suing Icon for patent and trademark violations regarding its “CrossBow” exercise machine (the “Washington Litigation”). The claims in the Utah Litigation have nothing to do with the claims in the Washington Litigation.
Legal counsel for Nautilus has contacted the court in the Utah Litigation, and confirmed there was no ruling issued on January 13, 2005 that Nautilus “falsely advertised” with reference to the Bowflex® machine. Neither is it accurate that “Nautilus false advertising counterclaims against Icon” have been fully adjudicated as Icon has alleged in its press release. Motions are presently pending before the Court on this issue and no Order or other ruling has been issued from the federal district court on January 13, 2005 on these or any other subjects.
The Utah Litigation involves claims made by both Icon and Nautilus concerning the marketing and advertising of exercise products. The Utah Court, on December 21, 2004, did issue a ruling on the parties respective Motions for Summary Judgment and as part of that motion did make a statement that a single statement referring to power rods as being “manufactured with patented technology” was inaccurate. That statement, which is no longer in use by Nautilus, does not indicate that the other elements of a claim for false advertising have been established or that Icon’s motion for summary judgment on this issue was “granted” as Icon alleged. That very issue is currently the subject of a motion for clarification in the district court in Utah and no decision has been issued on that motion. Nautilus did, during all relevant time periods, have patents on its Bowflex® machines with power rods, specifically United States Patents, Nos. 4,620,704 and 4,725,057.
The December 21, 2004 ruling also denied four motions that Icon filed for summary judgment, including a motion that Icon did not infringe Nautilus trademark rights and a motion that Nautilus infringed Icon’s trade mark rights. Icon and Nautilus have a trial date in March 2005 in the Utah litigation. At that time, the parties claims and contentions will be presented to a jury. At the same time, Nautilus continues to vigorously prosecute the Washington Litigation and currently has an April 2005 trial date on those claims against Icon in Seattle.