Makers of TRX exercise equipment win $6.8 million patent verdict, prove willful infringement

By Steve Brachmann
April 6, 2017

“TRX Train Bootcamp” by Canon Digital Ixus 970 Is. Public domain.

In late March, media reports surfaced indicating that San Francisco, CA-based Fitness Anywhere LLC, the makers of TRX fitness and training equipment, was awarded more than $6.8 million in damages after a jury verdict finding willful patent infringement by San Carlos, CA-based Woss Enterprises LLC. The lawsuit surrounded allegations that Woss infringed upon patents covering Fitness Anywhere’s suspension trainer equipment. The jury verdict included a finding of willful infringement of patents asserted in the case. The case was tried and decided in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (N.D. Cal.).

The complaint in the case was filed by Fitness Anywhere in January 2015 and asserted a series of three patents held by the company:

  • U.S. Patent No. 7044896, titled Exercise Device Including Adjustable, Inelastic Straps. It claims an adjustable, inelastic exercise device having an elongated member with a pair of ends separated by a length and a means for adjusting that length, and then an anchor having a portion which can be mounted to a structure and a second portion have a flexible member to support the elongated member when grips on the pair of ends are pulled away from the anchor.
  • U.S. Patent No. 7806814, entitled Combination Grip for an Exercise Device. It discloses an exercise apparatus having loops attached to hand grips which enable a user to engage in a wider degree of exercises.
  • U.S. Patent No. 8043197, titled Exercise Device Having Inelastic Straps and Interchangeable Parts. It protects an exercise device attachable to a structure in such a way that enables replacing, interchanging or adding of components to an exercise device anchor.

Fitness Anywhere’s complaint also asserted the company’s trademark rights to the standard character mark “SUSPENSION TRAINING” used in commerce to market the fitness equipment.

The allegations of infringement of the patents-in-suit surround Woss’s sale of fitness equipment marketed under brand names including “SST Suspension Trainer,” “WOSS XT,” “3000 Stable,” “Military Gym Style” and more. Fitness Anywhere argued that Woss’s infringement was willful as it had continued the infringing activities after Fitness Anywhere sent a notice of the patents covering the TRX equipment.

Along with one count of patent infringement, the original complaint lists two counts for federal trademark infringement and single counts of federal unfair competition, tortious interference with prospective economic relationships and unfair competition under California state law. According to a report from Law360, the $6.8 million award includes $5.75 million in lost profits damages, $820,200 in trademark infringement damages and $191,500 in reasonable royalty damages.

The Author

Steve Brachmann

Steve Brachmann is a freelance journalist located in Buffalo, New York. He has worked professionally as a freelancer for more than a decade. He writes about technology and innovation. His work has been published by The Buffalo News, The Hamburg Sun, USAToday.com, Chron.com, Motley Fool and OpenLettersMonthly.com. Steve also provides website copy and documents for various business clients and is available for research projects and freelance work.

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