Nautilus, Inc. has acquired an extensive patent portfolio surrounding cardiovascular fitness equipment from a Texas equipment inventor.
The patent portfolio containing more than 30 individual patents was acquired from fitness inventor Bob Rodgers, Canyon Lake, Tex., who is regarded as one of the top inventors, especially surrounding elliptical cardiovascular trainers.
“We are gearing up for a larger share of the growing cardiovascular training market,” said Tim Hawkins, President of the Nautilus Fitness Equipment Business. “This portfolio has long been considered as one of the best in the elliptical category, which is one of the fastest-growing categories of cardiovascular training.
“We have excellent elliptical products for commercial, light commercial and home markets employing Mr. Rodgers excellent inventions. By owning the patent portfolio outright, we have more flexibility to further expand our elliptical and related product innovations.”
The patent portfolio reflects Rodgers work that materialized in patent submissions beginning in 1995 after the fitness enthusiast was forced to give up running due to wear on his ankles, knees and hips. He left a career in the oil and gas industry in 1994, and began inventing lower-impact stationary training equipment. Many of his patents focus on front-drive elliptical technology which allows for a small footprint, and a pivoting foot plate that articulates with the natural stride movement of the foot.
The portfolio bolsters key innovations developed by Nautilus itself, including the emerging concept of variable stride technology. Marketed as My Stride® technology, the equipment is designed to allow users to dynamically adjust their stride from zero- to 32-inches, compared to the limited half-stride path of most ellipticals available today.
“We envision stacking a number of technologies into elliptical trainers and related products that deliver an effective, natural and low-impact workout,” said Hawkins.
“Along with our TreadClimber technology, new treadmills, new exercise bikes, and legendary steppers and stepmills, we now offer a complete line of innovative cardio products to complement our strength training lineup.”
The Company said the portfolio acquisition would be neutral to slightly accretive over the first two years, with third-party license fee income and the absence of paying license fees itself offsetting the acquisition cost.