Posted on 01-03-2020
In a lawsuit that was started in 2017 by CrossFit Inc. from Scotts Valley in California (USA) there was an interesting court ruling on 19 February 2020:
The name 'Cross Box' is being used by a Dutch chain of fitness clubs for a CrossFit-like workout. The judge declared there was not enough proof that the brand name of CrossFit was hurt. He stated that based on the production of the chain's lawyer, the words 'Cross' and 'Fit' are quite regular words for the fitness industry. So the chain was granted to use the Cross Box name for its CrossFit-like activities! CrossFit loses the case and was convicted to pay the overall costs of the trial as well.
Click for a link to the Dutch news paper article (in Dutch)
Click for the link to the court ruling (in Dutch)
Globally there are about 15,200 clubs or boxes licensed to use the brand name CrossFit and its training concept (source: Maps.CrossFit.com). About 330 of them are located in The Netherlands, and Belgium, Europe.
Does this court ruling mean that CrossFit loses all its trademark rights? And how about the licensing rights? We are no lawyers or connoisseurs of private law, licensing or business law. So we can only assume. We assume that the trademark may lose a bit of its power when other competitors start using words like 'Cross', 'Fit', 'Box', in their own group fitness activities.
Will it hurt the CrossFit brand short term and/or long term? Time will tell.
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Author: Aernout Leezenberg
Author Aernout Leezenberg is the founder of Hidden Profits Marketing, a growing team of fitness marketing experts that supports owners and management of fitness studios, clubs and gyms to build a thriving business by providing an automated stream of new members and leads 24/7.
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