Fitness giant F45 loses court battle

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Fitness giant F45 has lost a four-year court battle in which it claimed a rival had copied its computer technology.

Fitness juggernaut F45 has lost a court battle to stop a rival gym from using its computer fitness technology.

The global fitness giant, which is among the country’s most visited gyms, had been locked in a four-year legal battle with rival gym, the Body Fit Training Company (BFT) claiming it had copied its computer workout system.

But the Australian-founded gym lost its battle this week after a Federal Court judge ruled the technology it uses to screen its workouts to users cannot be patented.

F45 had alleged BFT, four of its franchisees and BFT director Cameron Falloon had infringed its patents by copying its system that uses computers to beam fitness routines to its studios, which gym-goers then watch as they work out.

BFT denied the infringements and sought to revoke the patents, arguing they related to a method that required using “general computers to do ordinary functions”.

In his ruling, the judge found the F45 patents invalid and said they should be revoked.

“The scheme is not made patentable merely because it is implemented using generic computing technology,” Justice John Nicholas said in Tuesday’s judgment.

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

Given he found the patents invalid, it was not necessary to consider the issue of infringement, the judge added.

F45 – which is backed by Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg and has over 1,750 studios in 45 countries – was ordered to pay BFT’s legal costs.

BFT joint CEOs Cameron Falloon and Richard Burnet said they were “thrilled” with the finding.

“We look forward to continuing to offer a different and better product, as Australia’s fastest growing fitness franchise,” the pair said in a statement.

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