On November 17, Willkie’s Tech Patent Litigation group secured a significant win for Body Fit Training, a subsidiary of Xponential Fitness, Inc., in a high-profile, high-stakes, competitor vs. competitor patent litigation brought by F45 Training, a publicly traded Australia-based fitness franchisor.
The lawsuit marks the latest chapter in F45’s now-failed worldwide legal campaign against Body Fit, in which F45 filed and lost a similar patent infringement case in Australia, and filed various unsuccessful trademark-related cases in several countries. Significantly, Body Fit and Xponential have now managed to invalidate several of F45’s key patents on a global scale.
F45 had accused Body Fit Training of infringing F45’s U.S. Patent No. 10,143,890 (“the ’890 patent”), which was drawn to methods of configuring fitness studios based on information sent from a central server. F45 claimed that this invention enabled its rapid growth and commercial success, and it sought an injunction against Body Fit Training as part of its requested relief.
F45 brought the case in Delaware federal district court, with Circuit Judge William C. Bryson, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, presiding by designation. The Court granted Body Fit Training’s motion for summary judgment, finding that all asserted claims of the ’890 patent were invalid. As Judge Bryson found, Body Fit Training demonstrated that the ’890 patent was invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 for claiming patent-ineligible subject matter, because its claims were directed to generic and abstract concepts, and recited only well-understood, routine, and conventional activities well-known in the fitness and computing industries. Judge Bryson also found for Body Fit Training and granted partial summary judgment of non-infringement on several of F45’s claims. The Court then entered final judgment in favor of Body Fit Training.
The Willkie team included partners Indranil “Indy” Mukerji, Stephen Marshall and Eugene Chang, and associates Devon Edwards, Gabrielle Antonello, Derek Biehn and Chris Hong.