Two of Australia’s superstar fitness influencers are locked in a legal battle and millions of dollars could depend on the outcome.
The Bikini Body Training Company, launched by South Australian megastar Kayla Itsines, has launched legal action against rising Queensland crossfit trainer Cass Olholm.
Ms. Istines is trying to stop Ms. Olholm from launching her new fitness business, Train With Cass, which is scheduled to launch on the Apple App Store on October 12.
Ms Itsines, represented in the South Australian Supreme Court on Tuesday by Nicholas Swan, claims Ms Olholm, who worked as a contractor for Ms Itsines before leaving in February this year, breached trading restrictions in preparing her new business .
Fitness megastar Kayla Itsines (pictured) is trying to stop Cass Olholm launching her new fitness business, Train With Cass, in the South Australian Supreme Court.
Ms Olholm (pictured) worked as a contractor for Ms Itsines before leaving in February this year.
Ms Itsines alleges Ms Olholm violated trading restrictions by preparing her new business within 12 months of leaving Ms Itsines’ employment. Ms Olholm says the restriction period expired at six months
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Mr Swan, appearing before Judge Dart, said Ms Olholm’s plans to launch the rival brand breached a 12-month restraint agreement between the two influencers, who were close collaborators in the fitness space.
“Obviously there is an association on both sides between personality and product,” he said.
“Taking all of that into account, they came to an agreement that, say, 12 months was an appropriate restraining provision.”
Mr Swan is pushing for a court injunction to block the launch of Train With Cass until March 1, 2024, 12 months after it leaves Ms Itsines’ orbit.
Ms Olholm, represented by Thomas McFarlane, argues that the restriction period expired after six months.
“This restriction is little more than a simple restriction on competition, there is no allegation of misuse or even access to confidential information, customer lists or data,” a he declared.
Bikini Body Training Company developed the hugely popular Sweat fitness program, which has been downloaded over 5 million times on Google Play.
Ms Itsines sold Sweat to US company IFit in 2021 for $400 million.
Ms. Olholm joined Sweat in 2020 and has appeared regularly in Ms. Itsines’ Facebook videos.
The Train With Cass program, if it runs next week, will be priced at $21.99 per month or $139.99 per year.
The court heard Ms Olholm spent some $580,000 preparing for the new business.
Justice Dart suggested both sides pursue mediation to avoid spending “very large sums of money” on lawyers.
Ms Itsines’ company Bikini Body Training developed the Sweat fitness program, which has been downloaded more than 5 million times on Google Play. She sold it for $400 million
The court heard Ms Olholm spent some $580,000 preparing for her new business.
“If this app launched in about 22 weeks, we wouldn’t be here,” he said.
“If it was March 1, no one here would be asking for an injunction.
“I’m just trying to stop parties from spending a lot of money when from March next year Ms Olholm can do it anyway.”
He also raised the possibility of a compromise on a nine-month limitation agreement between the two sides.
Judge Dart adjourned the matter until October 10 so that both sides could fully plead their cases.