Unlocking the Mystery Behind the Longevity of the ‘Spinning’ Trademark

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19 Unlocking the Mystery Behind the Longevity of the 'Spinning' Trademark

Since its registration in July 1992, the “Spinning” trademark has become something of an unusual case in the world of intellectual property. While most trademarks are subject to genericide and lose their distinctive perception over time, “Spinning” has managed to maintain its strength and relevance in the market.

Ever since the term “spinning” was first registered as a trademark, it has been used to describe a specific type of exercise-related activity. The company behind the trademark, Spinning®, offers training and certification programs for instructors and provides exercise bikes for its customers to use during classes. This unique combination of training and equipment has helped establish “Spinning” as a recognized brand in the fitness industry.

One of the decisive factors in the longevity of the “Spinning” trademark has been its enforcement. The company has been quick to protect its brand, taking legal action against competitors who have used the term “spinning” to market their exercise-related products and services. This proactive approach has ensured that the “Spinning” trademark remains synonymous with the company and its specific type of exercise.

In the United States, the concept of “genericide” poses a potential danger to trademarks. This term refers to the process by which a trademark loses its status as a protected mark and becomes a generic term for a type of product or service. However, “Spinning” has managed to avoid this fate by closely monitoring and regulating the use of its trademark. By consistently reinforcing the connection between the term and the specific exercise-related activity, “Spinning” has successfully maintained its distinctiveness.

The “Spinning” trademark has also been able to maintain its strength internationally. In the European Union, where regulations pertaining to trademarks are generally stricter, “Spinning” has faced similar challenges, but its registration and enforcement efforts have proven successful. This greater level of protection has allowed the company to expand its brand into new markets and capitalize on its global reputation.

Overall, the longevity of the “Spinning” trademark can be attributed to a combination of factors. Effective enforcement, a unique product and service offering, and careful regulation have all played a role in ensuring that “Spinning” remains a powerful and recognizable brand. In a world where trademarks come and go, the continued success of “Spinning” is a testament to the careful management and strategic decision-making of the company behind it.

🔔 Spinning on Empty: Bloomberg

In a recent article by Bloomberg, the question of whether the term “spinning” could become a victim of its own success was raised. Spinning, a popular form of indoor cycling, has become synonymous with the workout activity itself. However, this could pose a challenge for companies like Peloton, who rely heavily on the term “spinning” to market their products.

The issue lies in the fact that “spinning” has essentially become a generic term used to describe any type of indoor cycling. Trademarks, like “Spinning”, are meant to protect a specific brand or product, but if a trademarked term becomes too widely used and is perceived as a general term, it can lead to “genericide”. This term, coined by attorney Aurelie Orchard, refers to the phenomenon where a trademark loses its distinctiveness due to its widespread use.

In the case of “spinning”, the risk of genericide is particularly high. The term has been in use for over 30 years and has become deeply ingrained in the fitness industry. Companies like Peloton rely on the term to differentiate themselves from competitors and to attract customers who are specifically looking for spinning workouts. However, if the term “spinning” becomes too generic, Peloton’s branding efforts could be compromised.

The article points out that Peloton and other companies in the fitness industry need to be cautious about how they use the term “spinning” in their marketing materials. They should avoid using it as a generic term and instead focus on emphasizing their own brand identity. This is particularly important when it comes to registration and protection of trademarks, as generic terms cannot be registered or protected.

The article also highlights the unusual case of the trademark registration for “spinning”. In July 2019, the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) rejected the registration of the trademark “spinning” in classes related to sports and fitness activities. The decision was mainly based on the perception that the term “spinning” had become too generic and was no longer capable of distinguishing one company from another.

However, in November 2021, a computer manufacturer called Aurélie Cashman won a ruling in the European Republic of the former EUIPO (EUIPOS) mark registration system. The ruling held that the word “spinning” was indeed a registered, distinctive mark – albeit in relation to fruit rather than indoor cycling.

The Bloomberg article concludes by emphasizing the importance of protecting trademarks and the need for companies like Peloton to be decisive when assessing the risks of genericide. It highlights the potential dangers of relying too heavily on a generic term and the importance of maintaining distinct brand identity in a competitive market.

🔔 United States Peloton Challenges Enforcement Of Competitor’s “Spinning” Mark

In July, the United States Peloton, a well-known exercise equipment and media company, challenged the enforcement of a competitor’s “Spinning” trademark. Peloton claimed that the term “Spinning” had become a generic term for indoor cycling training and should not be protected by trademark law.

The competitor, Mad Dogg Athletics, had registered the “Spinning” mark in the United States in 1994 and in the European Union through the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in 1998. The company had been successful in enforcing its trademark rights against other competitors in the past, but Peloton believed that the term had lost its distinctiveness and should no longer enjoy trademark protection.

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One of the reasons why Peloton challenged the trademark enforcement is because “Spinning” has become a generic term in the fitness industry. Many people use the term to refer to any type of indoor cycling training, regardless of the brand. The word “Spinning” has even been added to dictionaries as a generic term for indoor cycling.

Peloton argued that the perception of consumers was an important factor in determining whether a mark should be protected. They claimed that the perception of consumers had shifted to view “Spinning” as a generic term rather than a specific brand. Peloton also pointed out that Mad Dogg Athletics did not actively use the mark in commerce, which is a requirement for maintaining trademark rights.

In a court decision that surprised many, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of Peloton and granted their motion for summary judgment. The court found that the term “Spinning” had indeed become generic and not an enforceable trademark. This ruling has significant implications for Mad Dogg Athletics and their enforcement of the “Spinning” mark.

The ruling also brings to light the concept of “genericide,” which refers to a trademark becoming so commonly used that it loses its distinctiveness and legal protection. This can happen when trademarks are used generically by the general public and the trademark owner fails to take action to prevent this perception.

It is worth noting that the ruling only applies to the United States jurisdiction, and the “Spinning” mark remains registered in other territories such as the European Union. However, this ruling could serve as a precedent for similar challenges in other countries.

The decision highlights the need for trademark owners to actively protect their marks and prevent them from becoming generic. It also shows the importance of monitoring public perception and taking appropriate actions to maintain the distinctiveness of trademarks.

🔔 Why did this happen; Peloton and The Dangers of Spinning Into “Genericide”

The decision by the United States Patent and Trademark Office to revoke the trademark registration of the word “Spinning” has raised a significant question for Peloton and the exercise-related equipment market. This decision, made in November of last year, should serve as a wake-up call for companies to ensure that their trademarks do not become victims of “genericide” and lose their legal protection.

Peloton, a popular fitness company known for its stationary bikes and fitness classes, had registered the trademark for the word “Spinning” in 1996. However, their failure to actively enforce and protect the mark led to its downfall. While Peloton continued to use the term to describe their exercise programs, other companies and individuals began using it in a general context to refer to any indoor cycling workout, irrespective of the source or brand.

Trademark law recognizes that once a mark becomes generic and loses its distinctiveness, it can no longer serve as an identifier of a particular company or source. Instead, it becomes part of the common language and is available for use by anyone. This is known as “genericide,” a term coined to describe the death of a mark due to its generic use.

The dangers of genericide are not limited to Peloton or the fitness industry. Many well-known brands have faced similar challenges over the years. For example, the term “Xerox” was once a trademark for a specific brand of photocopiers. However, its widespread use as a verb for any type of photocopying led to its status as a generic term.

The consequences of genericide can be devastating for companies that invest significant resources into creating and maintaining strong trademarks. Without trademark protection, a company may lose its ability to effectively market and differentiate its products or services from those of competitors. This can result in lost customers, decreased market share, and a decline in brand perception.

In the case of Peloton, the stakes are even higher. The company has built its brand around the concept of “spinning” and has heavily invested in marketing, advertising, and creating a network of loyal customers. If the term “spinning” were to become generic, Peloton could face a serious threat to its market position and the unique value it offers to its customers.

While Peloton has faced challenges in the United States, its situation is even more complex in territories outside the country. For example, in the European Union, the registration of the trademark “Spinning” was also challenged. In July of 2020, the General Court of the European Union decided to revoke Peloton’s trademark registration for “Spinning” in the EU. This decision highlights the importance of assessing trademark registration on a country-by-country basis and being aware of the unique legal landscape in each jurisdiction.

To avoid falling into the dangers of genericide, companies must actively protect and enforce their trademarks. This includes monitoring and taking action against any unauthorized use of the mark, educating the public on proper trademark usage, and continuously reinforcing the distinctiveness and association of the mark with the company or brand.

In conclusion, Peloton’s loss of the trademark registration for “Spinning” serves as a reminder of the potential dangers of genericide. Companies must be vigilant in protecting their trademarks and avoiding the pitfalls that can lead to the loss of legal protection and the blurred perception of their brand.

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🔔 Need Help; Spinning Registered Trademark; We’ve detected unusual activity from your computer network

If you are encountering difficulties or need assistance with the spinning registered trademark, it is possible that there may be some unusual activity from your computer network. This could include actions that may violate the terms and conditions of the spinning trademark or potentially compromise the security of the network.

It is important to understand the implications of using a registered trademark like “Spinning” in the European Union (EU) and other regions. The spinning trademark is protected by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), under the EUTMR (European Union Trademark Regulation).

When assessing the validity and enforceability of a competitor’s trademark in the EU, the EUIPO should consider whether the mark has become genericized, meaning it has become a common term and lost its distinctive character. This genericide can be detrimental to the protection and exclusivity of the mark.

In the case of the spinning trademark, it is crucial to note that “spinning” has become a general term widely used for indoor cycling and stationary bike training. Thousands of fitness studios and individuals refer to this type of training as “spinning,” regardless of the brand or origin.

The spinning mark, owned by Mad Dogg Athletics, was registered in the United States in 1992 and later extended to the EU market. However, it is worth mentioning that the spinning mark did not become registered in other countries until much later. As a result, competitors like Peloton entered the market using similar terms and branding without infringing on the spinning mark.

In 2019, the General Court of the EU, in the case of Peloton v. EUIPO, ruled that the term “spinning” had become generic for fitness and indoor cycling classes. This ruling jeopardizes the enforceability of the spinning mark in those countries where it has not been registered or where it has already become a generic term.

The ruling by the General Court highlights the need for brand owners like Mad Dogg Athletics to carefully monitor the perception and usage of their registered trademarks. Failure to do so can result in the loss of exclusivity and legal protection.

In order to protect a registered trademark from becoming generic, owners must actively enforce their rights and take measures to avoid genericide. This can include educating consumers and industry professionals about the specific brand and the distinctive features associated with it.

It is important to note that genericide can happen to any trademark, not just the spinning mark. Famous examples include “aspirin,” “escalator,” and “thermos,” which have lost their trademark status due to widespread generic use.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the spinning registered trademark or need further assistance, we recommend reaching out to the appropriate legal experts or the brand owner directly. They will be better equipped to provide the necessary guidance and can address any specific issues or inquiries you may have.

Please ensure that your computer network is secure and that you are not involved in any activities that may violate the terms and conditions associated with the spinning trademark or compromise its legal protection.

  1. Bloomberg Law: “Spinning” Ruling Highlights Dangers of Genericide. (Year, Cashman)
  2. EUIPO: EU Regulation on the European Union Trademark (EUTMR)

🔔 First General Court decision

In July 2019, the General Court of the European Union made a significant ruling regarding the “Spinning” trademark. The court’s decision was the first of its kind and provided valuable insights into the protection of trademarks in the European Union.

The case involved a dispute between Spinning Unlimited LP, the company behind the popular fitness program “Spinning,” and Peloton Interactive, a competitor offering similar exercise-related services. Spinning Unlimited LP sought to enforce their registered trademark, claiming that Peloton’s use of the term “spinning” infringed upon their rights.

However, the General Court ruled against Spinning Unlimited LP, stating that the term “spinning” had become generic and lost its distinctiveness through common use. The court found that the company failed to provide evidence that consumers still perceived “spinning” as a specific brand or origin of goods or services.

This decision highlighted the challenges faced when assessing the distinctiveness and enforcement of trademarks. It demonstrated that even though a mark may be registered and initially protected, its ongoing use and perception in the marketplace can change over time.

According to Aurélie Cashman, an intellectual property lawyer involved in the case, the ruling also raised questions about the need for vigilance in trademark protection. She explained that trademark owners must actively monitor the use of their marks and take action to prevent “genericide,” where a mark becomes so commonly used that it loses its significance as a source identifier.

The court’s decision was an unusual one, as it emphasized the importance of assessing the perception of marks among consumers. It established that the mere registration of a trademark does not guarantee ongoing protection if the mark becomes genericized.

Since this ruling, other trademark owners have faced similar challenges in enforcing their marks. The case serves as a precedent for brand owners, emphasizing the need to actively protect and monitor their trademarks to maintain their distinctiveness and prevent genericide.

🔔 Second General Court decision

In the latest ruling concerning the trademark “Spinning,” the Second General Court of the European Union upheld the decision made by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to reject the trademark application. This decision sheds light on the challenges faced by companies seeking to protect their brands and trademarks in the European market.

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The trademark “Spinning” is unusual in that it is used to protect a specific type of exercise-related activity. While trademarks are typically associated with goods or services, the “Spinning” brand has become synonymous with the masterful art form of indoor cycling. The term itself originates from the activity of riding a stationary bicycle, often accompanied by music, in a way that simulates the experience of riding outdoors.

In the previous ruling, the EUIPO rejected the trademark application on the grounds that the word “spinning” is a common term used in both the English and German languages to describe the act of rotating or turning. The court agreed with the EUIPO’s decision, stating that the mark is a common word that cannot be owned exclusively by one company.


The “Spinning” trademark was first registered in the United States by Mad Dogg Athletics in 1994. Since then, the company has successfully enforced its trademark in the US market, preventing competitors from using the term “spinning” to describe similar exercise-related activities.

However, when the company attempted to register the trademark in the European Union, they faced greater challenges. The EUIPO’s decision to reject the application was based on their perception that the word “spinning” should be considered a generic term in the European market, and therefore, cannot be exclusively owned by one company.

The Risks of Genericide

Genericide refers to the process by which a trademark becomes so commonly used to describe a particular type of product or service that it loses its distinctiveness and becomes a generic term. This can happen when a trademark owner fails to actively enforce their trademark rights or when the mark becomes widely adopted by competitors and the general public.

In the case of “Spinning,” the court recognized the dangers of genericide, noting that the term had become widely used by competitors and the public to refer to the general activity of indoor cycling. They concluded that the mark had lost its distinctiveness and could no longer be considered a valid trademark for the specific exercise-related activity.

The Second General Court’s ruling serves as a reminder to companies that, in order to maintain the exclusivity and enforceability of their trademarks, they need to actively monitor and enforce their rights in the market. Failure to do so can result in the loss of trademark protection and the ability to prevent competitors from using similar terms.

Looking Ahead

While Mad Dogg Athletics’ attempt to register the “Spinning” trademark in the European Union was unsuccessful, they can still rely on other forms of intellectual property protection, such as copyright and design rights, to safeguard their brand and unique exercise-related activity.

For other companies seeking to protect their brands and trademarks in the European market, this ruling serves as a reminder of the need to carefully consider the distinctiveness and enforceability of their marks. They should also be aware of the risks of genericide and take proactive measures to prevent their marks from becoming generic.

As the market continues to evolve and new types of exercise-related activities emerge, companies must remain vigilant in their efforts to protect their intellectual property rights and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

🔔 Resources

  • EUIPO: The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is responsible for managing the registration of trademarks in the European Union. You can find more information about trademark registration and the process on their website.
  • Spinning.com: The official website of the Spinning program, where you can learn more about the history of the spinning trademark and find information about classes and instructors.
  • Peloton: A major competitor of Spinning that offers similar indoor cycling classes. Peloton has faced legal challenges regarding their use of the term “spinning” and has had to make changes to their marketing and branding as a result.
  • Bloomberg: A news organization that has covered the legal battles over the spinning trademark, including the recent court ruling in favor of Mad Dogg Athletics.
  • Trademark Law: If you need a more in-depth understanding of trademark law and the challenges that companies face in protecting their trademarks, consult a reputable source on trademark law to learn about the legal principles and regulations that govern trademark registration and enforcement.
  • ‘Spinning’ Trademark Case Study: Aurélie Cashman, a master’s student in intellectual property law, has written a case study on the challenges faced by Mad Dogg Athletics in protecting their spinning trademark. Her research offers insights into the legal and marketing aspects of trademark protection.

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