Functional training equipment developer Fitness Anywhere LLC, known as TRX, has been awarded more than US$6.8 million in damages from online company WOSS Enterprise LLC, which willing fully infringed a TRX patent and trademark. A federal jury in California, US, (US patent 7044896) unanimously agreed that one of TRX’s patent had been infringed, as well as, its “Suspension Training” trademark through the sale of six products. The jury ruled the unauthorized use by a competitor once a first notice had been given of the TRX trademark “ Suspension Training” in commerce , such as on Amazon.com, constituted willful infringement. The jury rejected that such use constituted fair usage.
Dangerous knock offs
Randy Hetrick, TRX founder and chief executive, said: “The internet has enabled a class of e-commerce parasites to evolve and feed on the investment and hard work of others. These leeches steal the trademarks and copyrights of brand leaders to manipulate online ‘search results’ and bamboozle customers into buying cheap, dangerous knockoffs that violate the patents of brands (like TRX) that have poured their life’s work into developing the market and investing in research, product innovation and consumer education.
“This verdict is a big win for brand innovators and customers alike, and it officially puts the fraudsters and cheaters of our industry on notice.”
The damages may be increased, as well as legal fees and costs, based on the final decision of the judge.
Sid Nasr, general counsel for TRX, said: “This is truly a landmark ruling where our business is concerned. Moving forward, it arms us with the legal precedent necessary to pursue and effectively eliminate the countless number of counterfeiters who are duping consumers with unreliable, and often dangerous, ‘knock offs’ of TRX products.
“It’s not often that a company invests the time and resources to carry commercial litigation through to a final court ruling, and the unanimous decision by the jury provides absolute validation that our trademarks and patents are not to be challenged.”
Health Club Management has contacted WOSS Enterprises for comment.