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Old 12-29-2009, 03:01 PM   #16
Garrett Smith
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Location: Tucson, AZ
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Nothing against your personal mission here, but I don't have the time or inclination to go to the courthouse to find anything.

CF won't have much to stand on if they try to "protect" the word CrossFit, based on this landmark case in NY on the word "Pilates":
Court overturns Pilates Trademarks
By Lawrence Stanley, Esq.

What’s in a name? Plenty, especially if the name is “Pilates,” one of the hottest fitness trends in America. An October 2000 decision in Manhattan’s federal court declared that Pilates, like yoga and karate, is an exercise method and not a trademark. The decision affected thousands of Pilates instructors who had been prevented from saying that they taught Pilates. “Imagine if you were a yoga teacher, and couldn‘t say ‘yoga’ – you were forced to describe it in some other way,” said Marie José Blom-Lawrence, a Pilates instructor since 1980. “Pilates instructors were in the same boat.”

The four-year case pitted Sean Gallagher, owner of the Manhattan-based Pilates Studio, against Ken Endelman and Balanced Body Inc., the world‘s largest manufacturer of Pilates equipment. On October 19, 2000, U.S. District Court Judge Miriam Cedarbaum ruled that the Pilates trademarks were invalid. She directed the United States Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the marks immediately.

Pilates ruled “generic”
The Court‘s 93-page opinion, which invalidated Gallagher’s trademarks for Pilates exercise services and Pilates equipment, found that Pilates is a generic term. Since “consumers identify the world ‘Pilates’ as a particular method of exercise,” the Court found, “plaintiff cannot monopolize [it].” Gallagher was also found to have “deliberately attempted to mislead” the United States Patent and Trademark office by falsely claiming in sworn documents that he had manufactured Pilates equipment.
Basically, by CF trying to be "everything" in exercise (note all the different "certs") and "nothing" at the same time (note how's exercise programming methods have never been disclosed, CrossFit is NOT considered the mainpage WOD because that would lead to franchising issues, and doing a bunch of different exercises in random fashion can't really be trademarked's random!) they will, IMO, never be able to even begin to protect the brand in court.

Could you just see it?

Defendant's attorney: "Please, define CrossFit for us."

Plaintiff: "'s a mixture of weightlifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, rowing, running, kettlebells, yadda yadda yadda..."

Def. Att.: "So is there anything original about it?"

Plaintiff: "The way we combine it."

Def. Att.: "So your tools are nothing new. How is it that you combine them that makes this all so original it can be protected?"

Plaintiff: "Well, there was one CFJ article written about our programming, but we've never really followed that, some people have said our program is random based on the "hopper" model of fitness, but really it is an ever-evolving paradigm that is constantly changing in an effort to increase work capacity across broad time and modal domains."

Def. Att.: "So, let me get this straight for the judge. You don't follow your own programming guidelines. For all anyone knows, your programming may be completely random. Your "type" of fitness has no real-world definition and your annual competitions are never the same...hmmm.

You do exercises that other people do.
You do rep ranges that other people do.
There appears to be no deeper knowledge to your programming.
You don't teach your affiliates how to "program" CrossFit workouts.

Basically, either everyone exercising in the world could be said to be "doing CrossFit" according to you, or CrossFit really stands for nothing at all. Really, what do you think you can protect?!?!"

Garrett Smith NMD CSCS BS, aka "Dr. G" - Blood, Saliva, and Stool Testing
My radio show - The Path to Strength and Health
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