F45 loses battle over computerised training patents in legal stoush with BFT

F45 loses battle over computer-driven patents
F45 loses battle over computer-driven patents

Functional fitness F45 has lost two patents for a computerised training system after a legal battle with rival franchise Body Fit Training (BFT).

F45 claimed BFT had infringed the two patents but a Federal Court judge has denied the claims and revoked the patents.

According to Lawyerly, Justice John Nicholas found the patents were an “unpatentable method or scheme for configuring and operating fitness studios” that relied on standard computers for their operation.

F45’s workouts are delivered on a computer screen with instructions for members on how to use the equipment stations. The Aussie-born, publically-listed global brand claimed the workout system had an element of manufacture because it required configuration of fitness stations, an argument dismissed by the judge who compared it to the periodical alteration of a playground or sports field layout to suit the seasons.

“It is the kind of scheme that has historically never been regarded as patentable subject matter,” he said.

BFT had refuted F45’s claims that it was infringing its patents by remotely operating its fitness studios and filed a counter claim.

Lawyers for BFT argued the business did not rely on the periodic retrieval of a studio information file, nor was the studio configuration dependent on an information file, points which were central to the F45 claim.

Richard Burnet, co-owner of BFT, told Inside Franchise Business Executive “This is a fantastic win for us and we feel pretty vindicated, after three or four years of legal proceedings. We can put this behinds us and focus on business.”

F45 has been contacted for comment.

Last year BFT sold its intellectual property to US-based Xponential Fitness Inc in a $60m cash upfront deal.

Xponential will grow the brand across the US and Canada while BFT operates as the master franchisor in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Read more about F45 here