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Body Fit Training and F45 ramp up legal battle over patents
The legal battle between popular Australian-created functional fitness franchises F45 Training and Body Fit Training has been stepped up as they dispute over business strategies and the use of technology.
In August, Body Fit Training (BFT) filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in California against F45 Training in an attempt to invalidate two of its existing patents.
In response, F45 has now began legal proceedings in the US state of Delaware, declaring that BFT infringes one of its patents.
The ongoing global dispute began in late 2019, when F45 filed a lawsuit in the Australian Federal Court against BFT over an alleged patent infringement, aiming to protect the way it manages its franchises through a central computer system.
Following the latest round of legal proceedings, BFT's joint Chief Executives Cameron Falloon and Richard Burnet issued a strongly-worded statement, advising “the US lawsuit we filed is part of BFT’s global strategy to defeat F45’s improper efforts to assert invalid patents to try and hinder our ability, and the ability of our franchisees, to advance what we believe to be a superior business model and approach to fitness training.
"We believe we have the upper hand in similar litigation in Australia. As a result, we are confident that, whether the US litigation moves forward in California or Delaware, we will ultimately prevail in both the courts and in the global marketplace.
"We see the United States as an important next step in our global expansion and even though we are a much smaller company, we do not intend to let F45 or any competitor push us out of the marketplace."
Launched in 2018, BFT has sold 150 franchises across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the USA.
F45 Training has a presence in more than 50 countries with more than 1,900 franchises sold.
In June, F45 revealed plans to take the company public and list on the US market NASDAQ.
The listing is planned to take place through a merger with special purpose acquisition company Crescent Acquisition Corp, with initial estimates valuing F45 at around US$845 million.
Speaking when the plans to go public were announced, F45 Chief Executive, Adam Gilchrist noted "F45’s mission is to improve people’s lives and wellbeing, and the company was founded to make unique, effective and high-quality training accessible to everyone, while empowering franchisees to run successful businesses.
“As a public company, I am confident that we will be able to accelerate our mission, while creating value for our shareholders.
"We look forward to continuing to disrupt our industry and to inspire even more people to achieve their health and fitness goals through F45’s innovative workouts combined with our nutrition program.”
Images: Body Fit Training was launched in 2018 (top) and F45 Training has a presence in more than 50 countries (below).
26th June 2020 - F45 reveals plans for listing on US NASDAQ exchange
1st June 2020 - F45 Studios in New Zealand anticipate member surge
7th April 2020 - Two-thirds of the world’s fitness clubs are currently closed
30th January 2020 - MINDBODY and F45 Training finalise new global agreement
21st January 2020 - F45 looks at US stock market listing
7th November 2019 - ACSM predicts top global fitness trends for 2020
1st August 2019 - Asia-Pacific markets targeted by USA fitness franchises
5th July 2019 - F45 to open studios in Afghanistan and Iraq
7th June 2019 - F45 Training takes on direct operations of Gold Coast facility
6th June 2019 - F45 tops Canstar Blue gym ratings for a second year
20th April 2011 - Les Mills alerted to illegal copyright downloads
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