Mad Dogg Athletics Inc. (MDA), Venice, CA, and Zumba Fitness LLC, Hallandale, FL, both filed lawsuits on Feb. 24 against Spinning Racing Bike and Dance in Tamaulipas, Mexico, claiming the company was counterfeiting their brands offered under their Spinning and Zumba marks, respectively.
The Mad Dogg suit is referred to as Mad Dogg Athletics Inc. vs. Consuelo Del Carmen Sánchez Gaona. The Zumba suit is referred to as Zumba Fitness LLC vs. Consuelo Del Carmen Sánchez Gaona. Both cases were filed before the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property.
“MDA is committed to providing authorized fitness facilities, Spinning instructors and Spinning program participants with the exceptional programming and best-in-class products that have made the Spinning program one of the most successful group exercise programs in history,” MDA CEO John Baudhuin said in a joint release from the two companies. “Vigorously enforcing our trademarks is critical to ensuring that our customers receive the exceptional quality they have come to expect from us since the Spinning program originated 20 years ago.”
MDA and Zumba systematically enforce their rights through cease-and-desist letters and public awareness initiatives, including advertisements, direct mailings, fitness club displays and events such as the annual Zumba Instructor Convention and the annual World Spinning and Sports Conference.
“Millions of Zumba participants in the United States and internationally know the health and fitness benefits of our unique programs and products,” Alberto Perlman, CEO of Zumba, said in the release. “Unfortunately, Zumba’s popularity has led to widespread, unauthorized promoters and instructors who are not only acting illegally but endangering the safety of consumers. We take our responsibilities to Zumba enthusiasts and our licensed instructors very seriously and are intent on pursuing whatever legal actions are needed to protect them.”
“Similarly, businesses offering indoor cycling instruction or products are encouraged to contact MDA to ensure that use of any Spinning-related trademarks is consistent with MDA’s rights,” Baudhuin said. “Our goal is to promote proper identification of authorized and certified instructors to ensure the best possible fitness experience. We look forward to continuing to work cooperatively with Zumba to prevent the unauthorized use of our brands and to combat piracy worldwide.”
Jason Buratti, global intellectual property counsel for Zumba, said, “It is important for intellectual property rights holders like Zumba and Madd Dogg to join together to protect their instructors from the unauthorized use of licensed rights. We make every effort to educate unauthorized users of our intellectual property rights.”
Zumba has educated more than 10,000 unauthorized brand users since January 2011, with this being only the third lawsuit required to augment that education program, according to Zumba.