If intellectual property (IP) is what differentiates a business from its competitors, why take the risk of leaving it unprotected?
Whether it be the creation of an innovative product or process, a novel design or a distinctive brand, IP helps a business acquire market advantage. Therefore it is imperative that exclusive rights are obtained and maintained.
IP is an intangible asset that should be listed on your balance sheet, and this includes patents, trademarks, designs, copyrights, domain names and business names, as well as common law rights such as trade secrets and goodwill.
These intangible assets can be used to generate revenue through building a competitive edge, brand recognition and reputation, obtaining investment, providing security as a transferable commodity in their own right or through attracting talent. They can also be used as a successful marketing tool to generate sales and to ward off competitors. An IP strategy should be part of any business growth plan.
IP and Sport
Sport plays a significant role in forming a nation's culture and lifestyle. The underlying values such as fairness, discipline, perseverance and respect are what make sport so universally appealing, not to mention the community, health and fitness it fosters. While IP is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when someone thinks about sport and fitness, they are interconnected in many ways.
IP serves as one of the driving forces in this multi-billion-dollar industry. According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the impact of IP can be found from securing economic value in business relationships built on IP rights, to developing new sports, fitness and training technologies protected by patents and designs, and maximising commercial revenue from sponsorship, merchandising and licensing agreements through branding and trademarks.
We would like to showcase F45 Training's (F45) unparalleled success and the role IP had in helping them become a disruptor and market leader in the fitness industry. More than just a workout technique or a franchise of gyms, F45 is a fitness community and an example of a real Australian success story. With more than 2,000 studios sold in over 60 countries, they are one of the most successful franchises in the world and their success is fuelled by innovation and technology.
F45 states that as a core part of its business, "technology and innovation are integrated into everything we do at F45". By innovating and disrupting the concept of a tired old gym, F45 has led the fitness industry by providing a better client experience. During a global pandemic, innovation (and the subsequent protection of that innovation by way of IP rights) is key to help a business not just survive but thrive.
Spruson & Ferguson has been working with F45 since January 2014 and has drafted and prosecuted over 50 patents and designs in Australia and throughout the world that protect F45's edge in this competitive space. These include a diverse range of innovations, from fitness equipment and assemblies (in studio and mobile environments), to entire studio layouts, exercise methods and techniques, lifestyle, and business software systems, apps and related products.
That IP has helped F45 grow its innovative reputation and brand, fend off competitors, increase their net worth, secure investment, attract talent and acquire additional franchisees.
In 2019, actor Mark Wahlberg and his investment group joined F45 as investors, highlighting F45's impact on the fitness industry through technology and innovation as a reason to invest. CEO Adam Gilchrist said, "F45 Training has pioneered the fitness industry with its innovative training and technology systems. This relentless focus on innovation, scalability, and the development of a great product has allowed the company to grow exponentially, becoming a fitness phenomenon unlike any other."
This article was published in partnership with Spruson & Ferguson.
Spruson & Ferguson is a leading intellectual property firm providing a range of IP services throughout the Asia-Pacific region from our offices in Australia (Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney), China, (Beijing, Hong Kong), Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. With a combined team of over 400 people, including patent attorneys, trade mark attorneys and IP lawyers, Spruson & Ferguson is one of the only IP firms with true regional capability, knowledge and experience.Never miss a news update, subscribe here. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
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