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BMG pushes for right to use ‘workout’

By Joe Hanel
The Daily Times-Call

DENVER — A Longmont company is taking the offensive in a trademark dispute with a rival consulting firm.
Breakthrough Management Group Inc. filed suit in federal court Friday against Chicago-based Leap Technologies Inc. after Leap threatened to file its own suit.
At issue is BMG’s use of the word “workout.” Leap owns the trademark on the word, but BMG is alleging fraud in Leap’s trademark application in October 1997.
The two companies sell “Six Sigma” management consulting services. The Six Sigma process aims to measure and improve the quality of a company’s output, according to the lawsuit. It is based on the “Work-Out!” system of Jack Welch, the former boss of General Electric, according to Leap’s Web site.
Leap now markets an “Action Workout” program, while BMG is seeking trademark protection for “Breakthrough Workout.” On June 17, Leap sent BMG a letter threatening to sue the Longmont company unless it stopped using the word “workout.”
BMG claims that “workout” is a generic term used by GE and other companies and that Leap committed fraud by applying for a trademark for the generic word.
BMG’s suit seeks payment for damages by Leap, as well as voiding of Leap’s trademarks for “workout” and “Action Workout.”
BMG employs nearly 100 people in more than seven countries around the world. Its clients include Qwest Communications, Johnson & Johnson and Seagate.