Recently, the F45 fitness franchise commenced proceedings against Body Fit Training Company Pty Ltd, one of their competitors, and four of their directors, alleging patent infringement. Body Fit Training denied the infringement and by cross-claim, sought orders revoking F45’s existing Patents for invalidity.

F45 owned Patients which claimed a method and system for remote configuration and operation of fitness studios from a central server. The studio computers present directions on display in the studio, and users perform exercises at each station based on the displays.

The judge considered whether F45’s invention claimed a computer-implementation, and if so, whether the invention claimed could be broadly described as providing a solution to a technological problem, such that it represented an advance in computer technology, or that it involved an unusual technical effect due to the way in which the computer technology was utilised.

The judge answered the first question in the affirmative but in regard to the second question, found that the patents did not provide any solution to a technical problem, nor represent any advance in computer technology. The Judge preferred Body Fit’s contention that the invention was aimed at improving the management and operation of fitness studios and managing the interest and motivation of users by the use of generic computer technology.

The judge also commented that even if the patents were valid, Body Fit did not infringe them because the retrieval and communication of information process was different between the two systems. F45 has appealed this decision, which is pending determination in the Full Federal Court.

The full decision of F45 Training Pty Ltd v Body Fit Training Company Pty Ltd (No 2) [2022] FCA 96is provided in this link.

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