Cross Gym vs CrossFit

Cross Gym Vs CrossFit

Cross Gym Vs CrossFit

It looks like CrossFit might be about to embark on a major legal battle, with an Italian gym allegedly trying to have the trademark banned from being used in the entire European Union.

It’s believed Cross Gym owners Umberto Avino and Maurizio Maddaloni want the term CrossFit invalidated across the continent in an attempt to run their own franchises and monopolize the market without being punished.

The whole thing is a bit strange considering Cross Gym is actually a gym that specializes in the sport of CrossFit and on face value it appears to be money grab attempt.

According to their Facebook page, however, they claim this isn’t the case and have recently posted this message on their wall:

At this moment is happening something incredible: “Someone” on HIS WALL facebook, said that CROSS GYM is determined to fight and replace CrossFit.
CROSS GYM is ONLY a registered producer of Functional and CrossFit equipment. CROSS GYM® IS NOT A TRAINING METHODOLOGY!
CROSS GYM just want to support the CrossFit nothing else.
Is in the interest of CrossGym that crossfit has a full and complete development in Europe and worldwide. Is exactly the OPPOSITE that some people want to go to CrossGym. Our lawyers are already moving legal action against people who spread these false rumors. We are sure this is an “economic measures” against us by someone that have an interest in lowering the sales that crossgym has throughout Europe. we LOVE the crossfit community!

Either way, the whole saga is a confusing one with a lot of ‘he say, she say’ going around.

Here’s a nice video that explains the whole case a little better:

John Michael Bric
John is a newsreader, freelance writer and Level 1 CrossFit Trainer. A contributing writer for the CrossFit Games and CrossFit Community websites, he is also a Regional Media Liaison for CrossFit Inc. When he's not training, he can often be heard reading breakfast news on the radio or trying to convince people that chicken burgers, french fries and beer are all Paleo.
John Michael Bric
  • Bevans2

    So what is the legal status of all the gym businesses out there selling CrossFit training without affiliating with CrossFit?  They are numerous and growing in the US;  I know of two in just our small town. 

    • Sarah

      Re: the gyms in your town: They are illegally using the CrossFit name. It states very clearly on the site that you cannot advertise that you use CrossFit methodology, are a CrossFit gym/affiliate or in any other way use CrossFit’s name/logo, etc other than to state that you are a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (if you’ve been through the course and successfully completed it) unless you are a licensed CrossFit affiliate.

      So gyms in your town that are doing that are infringing on the intellectual property rights and trademarks of CrossFit and you can report them for using that name without legal permission to do so. Just a heads up.

      • Richard

         Hi Folks, interesting stuff. At sarah…..I’ve dealt with trademarks in business and they have a point. it like someone has trademarked “baseball”, now no-one can open a baseball training facility or state they teach baseball. on the face of that, and although i love CF, and have crossfitted for 6 years, more than most, i think it may be challangable.

  • Joey

    I’m in the Czech Republic and This directly affects my business. CrossFit had better win.

  • Robertperez906

    Cross Gym is actively trying to have this video removed 

  • Rob Perez

    Cross Gym realizes that what they are doing will hurt ALL CrossFit affiliates in the EU, and potentially destroy the meaning of the word CrossFit for everyone. They don’t want YOU to know this so they are actively lobbying youtube to take this video down.

  • Beavers

    This video explains nothing. is made only for the purpose of defamation, and to put the community against crossgym.
    poor Rob … but they’re paying you for?

    You should talk to a graduate in law, trademarks and patents, not a fool any …


  • Joey

    On Cross gym’s facebook page is this:

    Not too far off from what the video claims.

    CROSS GYMApril 14is NOT true that Cross Gym is acting to remove the name Crossfit or to replace it with its own, but only because everyone can use it freely without having to ask permission (and give money) for a training method. a training method that should be everyone’s heritage. Personal freedom is inviolable, people can freely choose to affiliate with an association or be totally free.Like ·  · Share44 people like this.

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  • Robertperez906

    Beavers, show one thing that the video got wrong.
    You know who should be paying me? The MANY EU affiliates and athletes who have personally thanked me for making this because they understand how CrossGym is threatening all of their livelihoods.

  • sololui

    Non conosco altri dettagli, I do not know other details, but I am very sad to see that an Italian gym might be involved in such a controversy with CF HQ. ..E’ davvero triste scoprire che proprio un centro Italiano potrebbe essere coinvolto in una simile controversia con la “casa madre” CrossFit.

    I truly wish this entire thing will rapidly dissolve. Spero sinceramente che tutto questo si risolva al piu’ presto.

  • Beavers

    Sorry Rob,

    I did not want to be so direct, but you must understand that it seems easier to prove that you be paid for doing so, that to demonstrate that what you tell people it’s true.

    Not only, it’s not true what they you say… CrossGym has explained on their fb wall what actually means that document, and it’s valid just this. If CG is lying, it would only hurt itself, and you understand that this would not make sense.
    Moreover, until a few time ago, I remember clearly, CG was among of “Equipment” links, and also this thing arouses suspicion (who knows why it disappeared! Arrive in EU and don’t want competitors?).

    Then I look at you, Rob, a fan of Crossfit (welcome). It’s ok. But it makes no sense that this fan uses the whole of his day to create a campaign to boycott CG, and has created a video made just for it! (Shit, even if easy to create it, you must have time!) Does not make sense that you expose yourself in first person, first of all because you are a person, not a corporation, and if you are legally attacked, you cannot defend yourself such as a Trademark.
    I personally do not be risking… [But if “someone” guarantee me, under payment, for my safety (and because I like it, and becouse I believe in what I think, and my shoulders are covered), ok, I do it, I boycott CG].
    [I also have another prissy theory: You are manipulated, but you don’t know it (but I don’t believe in it)]

    It will never happen that you are looking to tell. It hurts just to see you so bitter, and shows only a very personal and closed vision of the matter.

    A Lawyer has assured me that those documents (which were definitely illegally distributed on the Internet) do not indicate what you say, but are merely an act of “precaution”. And this type of act must be expressed in this way, as an attack, but that’s not the end goal, does not mean what you say. (Do You tell to people that too, or just that want you?)

    You can continue, but personally, you don’t convince me at all. And if, before, I could think well of you, now do not like your methods, and do not know what to think…

    What satisfaction is there in lying to the people and get support from others that think like you, and do not understand the matter?!

    I love CrossFit and I like CrossGym (how many other brands). The rest is just fantasy.

    Sorry Rob, but it’s a dirty business what you do, I do not think it’s right, and I feel sorry for those who listen and support only your version.

    You must give time to time and, trust me, the community will not suffer any damage, it is in everyone’s interests, fans, coaches, athletes, and producers.

  • Rob Perez

    Beavers, you can come up with all the theories you want. I don’t really care because what I’m doing is important and I’m willing to fight for it.  All you have said is that you don’t believe CROSS GYM would lie, and that some lawyer you know thinks I’m wrong. You haven’t shown anything that challenges the two facts at the end of my video to be wrong, and I directly quoted the legal document found online:

    This document from CG’s lawyers argues that “The term Crossfit undoubtedly is a generic name”. If it is found legally that CROSS GYM can use the term “Crossfit” freely without needing permission, than ANY gym, fitness program, or facility in the entire EU can do this, and all Crossfit affiliates will suffer as their businesses become insignificant and everyone calls what they teach “Crossfit” with no repercussions. This is why all affiliates need to Boycott CG until this action stops!!!

  • Pukie

    So what happened?  Is this case still going?

  • John L

    Here’s my issue.Im not sure if this is the basis for the lawsuit but imagine if the inventer of any sport (baseball, basketball, hockey) named their company after the name of the sport they created. This is what CrossFit did. For example Heinz Ketchup. Heinz sells Ketchup with their ingredients. Anyone can copy as best they can and also sell ketchup but under their own brand. What product does CrossFit sell? CrossFit. Is that legal? FYI. I am a CrossFit affiliate.

    • Richard

       Yes your right, this is a unique case, no-one has ever created a sport or a product, then called their company the same name, very clever, if they could get it trademarked it shuts out the whole world and they have a monopoly. it was so small, and no -one cared, so it got by the watchdogs perhaps, question is, should it have been allowed to in the first place, im guessing there wereno objections and it did. Now of course, everyman and his dog’s on board, and it will be challenged, maybe under the section of “restraint of trade” perhaps. Yes, by calling their company the same name as the sport, it means no-body can advertise crossfit, the lawyers will eat that up as unfair. Surely crossfit saw this coming when they trademarked the name? they would have been advised, maybe they knew it was coming, sold as many “franchises as they could before its shut down?  wonder if Reebok will face forward like the italian army marching slowly backward ?  it could be a huge can o worms………” reaches for popcorn”….

  • Richard

    @facebook-100003511215647:disqus  2:52 of video the video claims crossgym want to profit from crossfit without paying for the use of crossfit training ideas and becoming an affiliate. But isnt crossfit a sport? isnt it the name of a sport, and way of training , you cant trademark “baseball” then charge people to pay for the use of the name baseball, well u could but it would be challanged because its too generic, the idea of a trademark is you offer something unique,even the wording must be unique to YOU, trust me, ive trade marked names and been to court. I dont know that crossfit is unique, you cant sue everyone, you’d go broke. I doubt you can stop people playing baseball in the park, you cant sue everyschool for having a baseball squad and advertising for players. I think they have a shot at this, i really do. This is a very serious matter, and the video with cats pumping eachother, although amusing, really belittles the whole story and does not do it any favors.

    • Richard

       Forgot my point lol,….But isnt crossfit a sport? isnt it the name of a sport, and way of
      training , you cant trademark “baseball” then charge people to pay for
      the use of the name baseball, well u could but it would be challanged
      because its too generic, and that looks like what is happening here, it is generic, whats unique about the word fit, for EG that no-one in the fitness industry can use it again. If it is challanged, its because it isnt unique and they have a shot at this

      • Richard

         video @ 3:18 they call it crossfit cos thats what the sport is called, whos manipulating who?

        • Roark

          I think you’re slightly off the mark. It’s not about the movements but about the brand.
          Noone can stop you from racing cars around a circuit but call it “Formula 1″ and you’ll make a bunch of new lawyer acquaintances.
          I guess the same rings true with your baseball analogy. Playing ball is fine, advertising your game as the Major League Baseball – I think not.

          • Richard

             i hear ya, its a tricky area, very grey, these things can go either way, depends on the judge, but it the personal toll thats the worst.

          • Roark

            To me it’s not that grey: As long as we’re talking Brand it’s a clear cut case. If CF HQ  – on the other hand – would try to prevent people from combining Thrusters and Squats in a workout..

            Wait – that would just as clear cut ludicrous ;)

            I guess we can put another spin on it:

            Anyone can make a medicine ball without paying royalties to anyone and I bet most of them are fairly alike in their design, right?

            But I guess I wouldn’t be very popular in Milan if I started selling my home made balls with “Cross Gym” in bold letters on them ;)

  • Tom Brose

    I think comparing CrossFit to baseball of  baseball is way off.  The analogy I think hits closer to home is the UFC.   They basically started the MMA industry, and the name is synonymous with the sport.   People at times refer to any MMA event etc as “ultimate fighting”, but only the UFC can legally use the specific term.  I’d guess their lawyers would be all over any other event that used even similar terms.

    If crossgym wants to market to the community, they have no obligation to affiliate in any way.   call it intense cross training, functional fitness whatever.

    • Unclerhabdo

      But the problem with the analogy is that, with the UFC, you have a suitable generic alternative.  UFC is a brand in the sport of MMA.  Crossfit, on the other hand, has no generic alternative.  Crossfit is trying to be a brand in the sport of …. crossfit.  That doesn’t work. 

  • Joe

    CrossFit is retarded to think they own the methodology. I used to work for HQ. They are bent on the IP defense route (seemingly very RIAA approach rather than open approach). CrossFit only owns the single word “CrossFit” and whatever other TM’s is has. Also, it only owns that term in the US and in a few different trademark classes. They are retarded for attacking people. They should work on supporting their affiliate community the same way Linux distributions and other open source platforms do. The only value add that CrossFit adds is the use of the name- the brand equity. CrossFit doesn’t own a thruster, a 21-15-9 rep scheme, or whatever else you can think of. They need to focus on their product and level of service, quit the legal game.. because they ultimately will lose. There are many people waiting in the wings all over the world to capitalize on their brand equity. Instead of spending their money on defending their brand.. they should work on making affiliates, trainers, and crossfitters more successful at their fitness, businesses, etc. They are defending their authority akin to how the catholic church does. The protestant movements are clearly more successful. Anyway, I digress. HQ is dumb, and let’s make more people fit. Fin.

    • Craig Massey

      In this case it isn’t about the methodology, it’s about the Brand name. CrossFit Inc own the CrossFit name and have set out conditions for its use.
      Cross Gym can’t call what they do CrossFit.

      If as Cross Gym assert that they like the methodology then why not stop calling their classes CrossFit? Currently they advertise a schedule of CrossFit classes. Nothing to stop them calling them CrossGym classes, except that people are starting to know what CrossFit is. Because the name has value.
      CrossFit Inc. and its affiliates generated that value.

      Making use of someone else’ hard work for your own gain is called stealing in my book and this lawsuit is theft in legal clothing. 

      Cross Gym’s lawsuit is trying to remove control of the CrossFit name from CrossFit Inc, not so they can use the training methods, they can do that now, but so they can use the value of the CrossFit brand without having to abide by the rules CrossFit Inc place on the use of that brand.

      If CrossGym only want to further the functional fitness that CrossFit develops, drop the lawsuit, stop using the word CrossFit in their advertising and get on and build their own Cross Gym name in competition with CrossFit. Nothing stopping them doing that.

      • Uncle Rhabdo

        The real problem is that HQ tried to get a trademark on the name of the sport itself.  Doing so made conflicts like this inevitable.  If I compete in the Open or do mainsite (or other WODs) then I am a crossfitter, and what I am doing is crossfitting.  Trying to trademark crossfit is like trying to trademark “pilates” or “triathlon.”

    • Mark R.

      I certainly hope that you dream up a product. Create the product, market the product, grow and develop the product and ultimately become passionate and dependent on that product. So anyone who wants too, may come along do whatever they wish and then re-sell your product without giving you anything.

      Let’s see how that one goes.

      Finally, seriously please refrain from using retarded, it is an offensive term to those of us who are actually kind and giving to people less fortunate than ourselves. Plus, it makes you sound less respectable.


  • Beavers


    Someone want to advertise, this lawsuit, as an attack by CrossGym against CrossFit …but no one knows, and do not want, deliberately, to tell everyone (because Reebok needs it), that in reality the attack was first CrossFit against CrossGym, for a matter of similarities in the name (when in fact CrossGym sells equipment not a method).
    This lawsuit is the natural result of intimidation by CrossFit.
    CrossGym never had any intention of attacking CrossFit (what for, to go against their own interests and what you believe, and why it produces?)
    …and the only way to defend itself has been to attack in this way. Who understands the lawsuits, know what I mean.

    What would you do if someone broke your eggs in the basket? (think on both sides)

    …and what would you do if someone told what to do and how to live your life?
    (I will not believe you’d be with our hands and watch)

    • UncleRhabdo

      You can read the actual legal document filed by CrossGym here:

      A couple of important things you will notice.  First, as Beavers pointed out above, CrossFit threatened to cancel the CrossGym mark and shut down their business.  CrossGym really had no choice other than to go after CrossFit to protect itself.  And second, CrossGym is asking that the court EITHER cancel the mark or declare that there is no confusion between CrossFit and CrossGym — in other words, CrossGym is only asking for permission to continue conducting it’s business.

      But really, this is just another in a long line of examples where HQ uses its trademark to silence critics (The Naked Crossfitter, Beastmode, Wild Gorilla Man, Drywall) and stop businesses it doesn’t like.

  • Bogie Jones

    Is this AnthosReeBokCrossGymFit now??

  • Joe

    Did anything happen? I see CrossGym is still around, did they win?

  • Eddy Legstrong

    Crossfit workouts are fine but as old as fitness, called circuit training.
    Fitness should be about all peoples health and not about making money with ridiculous names for some cultish-bloodsuckers.
    This is not scientology, assholes.