Man training with Barbells from Gungnir

Gungnir: patent and trademark give greater weight to the barbells

Gungnir of Norway is an Oslo-based start-up company that designs and manufactures barbells and other equipment for strength training. The company is best known for a patented, built-in lock for securing weight plates. The lock makes the training experience more user-friendly, safer and tidy.

With its unique design, the company targets a global market, and now has customers in over 40 countries.

Protects in international markets

Gungnir has been granted a patent in Norway, the USA, Canada, Russia, China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. They have applied in all markets where they see good commercial opportunities, for example in Europe through the EPO, and in markets where it is common to produce training equipment, for example India and China.

They have registered the GUNGNIR trademark in Norway, the EU, Great Britain, the USA and Australia.

– We have not experienced that anyone has violated our rights so far. However, we are prepared that this could happen, as in conversations with other industry players we have received indications that it is likely in the industry we are part of.

Kristian Kjelstad

General manager Gungnir

Closeup image of a mans

Kristian Kjelstad

General manager Gungnir

— The purpose of obtaining a patent in these markets and countries is twofold. First of all, we want commercial exclusive rights to the solution we have designed in key markets, but it is also important to prevent the potential production of copies in countries where this is likely, says managing director Kristian Kjelstad.

The company has received assistance from patent offices for the work with applications and follow-up of rights. In the past they have used the Swedish company Valea, and before that Leogriff, which is now Dehns. Today they use Bryn Aarflot to help them with this.

Public support schemes

Gungnir received support from the FORNY StudENT program of the Research Council in 2019. The funds went to patenting and developing the product. They emphasize that the support was extremely important for them to be able to preserve the momentum they had, including submitting a Norwegian patent application.

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Gungnir's Allrounder - 20kg Olympic Barbell won the prestigious Red Dot Award 2021 for outstanding product design. Photo: Gungnir of Norway

Advice for other businesses in the start-up phase

The founders are happy to share some tips for others who are in the starting pit:

  • Wait to start developing or selling something until you have actually found out if there is a market and users for your idea.
  • Make a thorough assessment of whether patent protection is right for your company, your strategy and your product. A patent is not always necessary to differentiate oneself in a market.
  • Lay out a long-term and short-term direction. The long-term can be fluffy and ambitious, and then you work more short-term and concretely towards goals along the way.

Learn from others