F45 Training have failed in their bid to assert two innovation patents against their competitors with the Federal Court finding the patents invalid and not infringed.1
The patentee (“F45”) sought relief from the Federal Court in respect of alleged infringements of two innovation patents directed to a method and system for configuring exercise stations within fitness studios from a central server.
The respondents denied infringement and sought revocation of the innovation patents on the basis that the patents did not relate to patentable subject matter (i.e. not a Manner of Manufacture).
The patents in suit met some resistance during examination on the ground of Manner of Manufacture but were eventually certified off the back of arguments and amendments from F45.
Submissions by the Parties
The respondents argued that the substance of the invention was a scheme or business method for delivering centrally managed exercise content to remote fitness studios using generic computer technology. Further, the substance of the invention was aimed at maintaining the motivation of gym users rather than addressing a technical problem per se.
F45 asserted that the invention was more than a mere scheme or abstract idea – and that it was a practical application of a computer implemented method or system that involved physical or tangible steps to produce a physical or tangible result – with the tangible result relating to the physical configuration of the exercise stations (by way of studio information files).
Federal Court Judgment
In finding that neither of the innovation patents were for a manner of manufacture, the court noted F45’s arguments around “configuring the exercise stations dependent upon the received studio information file” but found that substance of the invention actually resided in the computer implemented scheme which enabled those physical arrangements of exercise stations to be made. The court also noted that F45 did not make any submissions that the invention provided an advance in computer technology, or a solution to a technological problem.
Even though it was not necessary to consider infringement (since the patents were found invalid) the court did so having regard to the parties detailed submissions. Ultimately, the court found that even if the patents were valid, none of their claims were infringed by the respondents in any event.
F45 can seek leave to appeal the decision to the Full Federal Court.
 F45 Training Pty Ltd v Body Fit Training Company Pty Ltd (No 2)  FCA 96