In Legal

October 01, 2013

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CrossFit Inc. protects its trademarks in defense of more than 7,000 affiliates worldwide.

More than 7,000 affiliates license the CrossFit name, and it’s the goal of CrossFit HQ to aggressively defend those affiliates, their owners, their employees and their members by ensuring the CrossFit name is used only when appropriate. By doing so, CrossFit Inc. ensures that affiliates “get what they pay for”: use of a valuable trademark and the assurance that the mark’s owner will stand up to protect that mark from those who might abuse it.

This guide is intended to help our affiliates, our community, our trainers, and the businesses that have sprung up around and in support of the CrossFit brand better understand how and when they may use CrossFit Inc.’s trademarks.

CrossFit Inc. leads the fight and regularly goes to battle in court to protect its trademarks and the affiliates who license them, but members of the community can help. Often, well-intentioned but misinformed affiliate owners, trainers and supporters create problems in addition to the ones brought about by those who steal and abuse the CrossFit name with malice. This guide complements the CrossFit Affiliate Agreement and Level 1 Trainer License Agreement and presents the information in plain language.

If you think there are changes or ways to make all this work better, please do not hesitate to send an email to Legalsupport@CrossFit.com.

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17 Comments on “CrossFit: Defending the Name”

1

wrote …

Great article Dale. Thanks for all you do.

2

wrote …

How does this apply to media outlets that cover CrossFit and The CrossFit Games?

In other words, CrossFitters love consuming content about CrossFit, so how do those content providers fit into this issue?

3

wrote …

Crossfit has done the homework for us to benefit, it is only fair to pass your CF L1 exam, get your affiliation and start contributing and improving this amazing sport called FITNESS. Give credit where credit is due and become part of the community that brings people together and changes lives!!! Viva CrossFit Viva. This is a great community to be part of.

4

wrote …

My only question would be to ask how that all plays with lending the name to Reebok?

5

wrote …

I think HQ also has to come up with some kind of restriction so they regulate how close one box from the other. If HQ dont really care about that, then soon or later it will be a same story and situation as the capitalist try to turn our CF community into franchise world. Specially, now the crossfit is gaining more popularity, those business mind people will def make their move to jump into this opportunity. I wish HQ care little more before they approve next new box like
is there any boxes around this new location?
If there is, how close each other?
etc,

IF HQ approves new box, when there is existing box only 200ft away within same development....
there is something wrong with the decision.

6

replied to comment from matt price

This is a very good point. I am really hoping there is a good answer too.

7

wrote …

How do you justify the use of "Crossfit" by both Again Faster and Rogue Fitness on their websites. They advertise "Equipment for Crossfit". Again Faster uses it as their searchable title. Why don't you google "Again Faster" and look at the results. Under Rogue Fitness's "Equipment for Crossfit" section there are clearly pieces of equipment that are not going to have CrossFit's logo licensed, ie, the Ohio Bar.

These are arguable two of the largest organisms in the CrossFit economic ecosystem. What are you doing to stymie their use of the Trademark? Or do you just pick and choose which companies/organizations you want to make an issue with trademark infringement.

As a disclosure, I have never had any claims of trademark infringement made against me by CrossFit HQ.

8

wrote …

I wonder if it is possible to open a CrossFit facility at a poor community with no means to pay $3000 fee? In some countries there are people who cares and know a lot about CrossFit! Why you do not use your power to make the process a little more cheaper for those people?

As an example, we, in our home town, organized ourselves as a little Club, where all the partners pay a small fee, just to pay the rent and buy some material. We started 6 guys and now we are more than 30, just in a year!

In my opinion this kind of grow was the model followed by CrossFit in those early days, just with one difference - We are not a company.

9

replied to comment from Nuno Silva

Nuna, yes it is.


There are not-for-profit CrossFit clubs and occasionally CF HQ will reduce or exempt fees for an affiliate in an area that will benefit from one.

10

Armen - we're working with those companies. Call it a kind of outreach program to help them in covering the Games while still respecting our mark. I have two attorneys on that project.

11

Matt - we have a contract with them. They're LICENSED to use the name. i.e. They have a license from us, much like the Affiliates have a license from us, to use our trademark. It's not that complicated.

12

Bernie - Rogue has a license to use the CrossFit name because of their unique relationship with us. Bill and Caity have been incredibly respectful and I've worked with their counsel - as has one of our other lawyers - on a number of occasions. No issue there. Jon Gilson is a personal friend and member of the L1 staff. I've had to contact him and his folks on several occasions to get them clear on what they can and can't do. I haven't checked their site recently, but if they're using it improperly, then we'll address it, civilly, because Jon has always been a solid citizen and is one of us.

I hope that answers the question, though you seem to have some implicit assumptions (and hostility by the tone) that need to be checked. We have relationships with some companies and not others - and so your assumptions about who is doing what need to be re-evaluated. We have very few relationships to license the name - Rogue is one. Reebok is another. There is also limited license for sponsors of the Games.

As for the "just pick and choose" line. We do and we don't. On the one hand, we have a legal obligation to equally police the mark, however, even the law recognizes that not all TM infringement is equal. For example, if someone is infringing on the mark on a website that has 12 visitors in the last year, we can prioritize the company that is selling a book with our name in the title on Amazon over the dude with the near oblivious website.

There is also the analysis of how big a threat the infringement is to the mark in the overall TM strategy, etc. To quote Denzel, this is chess, not checkers.

13

wrote …

I have a question i am the owner of a box in fact the only box on my country the problem now face is people are now using the word crossfit an when i ask them if the are affiliated the reply is no i wrote to HQ, but they are still using the name.what do i do now .

14

replied to comment from Dale Saran

I appreciate your reply Dale; there was no hostility intended. These kinds of forums are meant for the dissemination of information. When their appears to be inconsistencies in "the message", The Journal is set up so that the community's concerns can be voiced. We do appreciate your efforts to answer our concerns. This is not always the case with Journal entries, and for that we commend you.

Here in the SF Bay area, the cases of TM infringement are staggering in number. An indication of the perceived power of the brand, I'm sure. For example, a cursory search on craigslist will find you at least 2-3 legitimate cases of would-be wholesalers attempting to use the CF brand to 'sell their wares'. The same is true for a number of start-up personal training establishments. My use of Rogue and Again Faster as examples was a matter of convenience and recognition.

15

wrote …

Protect and Defend.....

Two simple business processes to pursue when you have a great product.

GOOD ARTICLE, WELL WRITTEN

16

wrote …

How does Iron Tribe Fitness fit into this?

17

wrote …

Heard a local radio station glibly declare themselves to be "your Crossfit soundtrack" over the weekend. My first thought was that they had whacked a hornets nest. ATTACK!

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