EXCLUSIVE: Leading functional training brand F45’s ongoing competitive interactions with rival brand Body Fit Training (BFT), has seen F45 it make trademark applications for the word ‘Bodyfit’ in New Zealand, Canada and Singapore - three of the five countries BFT currently operates in.
In February this year, a four year legal action undertaken by F45 against Body Fit Training in which F45 alleged infringement of one of its patents, ended with the Federal Court of Australia ruling in favour of BFT.
However, it has emerged that on the final day of the Federal Court proceedings, F45 made the Bodyfit trademark applications.
In a statement released to Australasian Leisure Management, BFT advised “this (action) raises the question what legitimate interest does F45 have in trademarks similar to the words associated with one of its biggest competitors? Ultimately, in BFT’s opinion, it is F45’s franchisees and shareholders who are losing out through unnecessary litigation and tactics such as this.
“BFT welcomes the competitive relationship between the two brands, but questions why F45 would waste money on litigation rather than investing in their core product and supporting their network of franchisees.”
The statement added “BFT with the full support of Xponential Fitness, will remain unintimidated by the litigious strategy adopted by F45 and continue to focus on their operations and franchisee support.”
In October last year, BFT entered into an arrangement to sell its intellectual property to US-based Xponential Fitness Inc.
As part of the $60 million cash upfront deal, plus additional payments based on growth, BFT will continue to operate as the Master Franchisor in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore while Xponential - the owner of multiple exercise brands including Club Pilates, CycleBar and Pure Barre - will now grow the brand across the USA and Canada.
In another win for BFT, on 24th May 2022, F45 filed a notice of discontinuance, discontinuing the proceedings, pursuant to which, F45 was required to pay BFT’s costs.
F45's actions in relation to BFT would appear to be designed to preoccupy the business in legal matters while also casting doubt in the minds of potential BFT franchisees. For example, a potential franchisee doing a search for BFT will likely find references to legal action, which may be offputting.
Click here to view a statement on the proceedings from BFT.
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