Founders of CrossFit Kids Sue CrossFit

Latest move in battle over who owns the youth brand

Dec 4, 2014
Outside Magazine
crossfit kids crossfit sports

The founders of CrossFit Kids say CrossFit has no rights to their program.    CrossFit Kids/Facebook

The founders of CrossFit Kids, a program that adapts the popular high-intensity CrossFit regimen to minors, are suing CrossFit, lawyers announced today.

San Francisco-based firm Emergent Legal, the firm representing CrossFit Kids founders Jeff and Mikki Martin, posted an explanation of the suit on the firm’s website

The suit alleges that the Martins created CrossFit Kids in 2004 under an exclusive long-term license from CrossFit Inc. …In late 2010, the Martins agreed to move CrossFit Kids operations under the CrossFit Inc. umbrella…and disband the CrossFit Kids affiliate program in exchange for CrossFit's promises to share profits and support the Martins' work… 

[In] March of this year, CrossFit suddenly began to claim that the Martins did not hold a license to operate CrossFit Kids, and had no rights to the program they had created.  In October, CrossFit Inc. fired the Martins without notice and took full control of the CrossFit Kids program. 

In October, CrossFit Inc.* sued the Martins for trademark infringement and breach of contract.

The Martins are seeking a dismissal of CrossFit's complaints*, as well as unspecified compensation for their work with CrossFit Kids, and legal costs. They claim that when CrossFit Kids finally started turning a profit in 2010, Glassman “began a series of machinations that would ultimately deprive the Martins of the fruits of their years of labor,” including asking them to integrate the program into CrossFit, and allowing CrossFit to set the schedule for CrossFit Kids training seminars.

The Martins are the godparents of Glassman’s four children.

* These sentences were modified to clarify that CrossFit Inc., not CrossFit founder Greg Glassman, sued the Martins. Additionally, the original headline stated that CrossFit Kids sued CrossFit. That headline was changed to clarify that Jeff and Mikki Martin and Brand X Martial Arts are listed as defendants and counterclaimants in the legal documents. We regret the errors.

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