F1 facing trademark battle over logo

Thuesday, 12 juny 2018, 09:13 , by Martin Macdonald

Formula One and Liberty Media may be forced to pay a fee to the maker of Post-It-Notes, a company named 3M, due to an alleged trademark infringement following the rebranding of the motorsport brand earlier the year that closely resembles one of 3M's products. 

F1's new logo features two lines running alongside each other, to signify the waving corner during a race, followed by a straighter line, and the first half with the waving lines bears resemblance to the logo of 3M for their 'Futuro' range of therapeutic clothing. 

3M applied for the registered trademark of their own logo in February 2017, while F1 did not apply for theirs until November of the same year, with 3M saying there would be a 'likelihood of confusion' between the two designs.

Liberty Media purchased Formula One at the start of 2017 and has been initiating an revolution to modernise the sport, which includes the introduction of the new logo which was released at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year.

F1's trademark application covers 26 of the 45 categories including one for clothing but, perhaps crucially, not for therapeutic clothing. 

According to the European Court of Justice's Advocate General in a statement released in 2008: "Trademarks are protected by a basic rule which prevents the registration or use of a sign identical or similar to a registered trademark, for goods or services identical or similar to those for which the mark is registered."

The situation comes as more of a matter of principle rather than finances for 3M, as last year the American organisation recorded pre-tax profits of $7.5 billion on $31.7 billion of revenue.

If Formula One and Liberty Media are forced to change their branding, it would come with a significant hit on finances - as well as the added embarrassment of having to change again, the latest in a long line of recent woes for the beleaguered owners.

Just this weekend in Canada, a miscommunication led to model Winnie Harlow waving the chequered flag to two laps too early, while their flagship F1 on demand service suffered more significant issues, leading to complaints from users. 

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Comments (19)

  • Scott Boulter
    They have made some good changes to the sport but some seem to be a bit disastrous. Good ones like the on screen graphics, starting a bit later for world wide feeds and online media. Bad ones are this interviewing the driver as soon as he is out of the car, that DJ in Mexico and binning grid girls (who was complaining?).
  • Nik Driver
    Hilarious, anyone confusing these two should; (a) not be watching F1, and continue to watch football and (b) have no need for post it notes as they would never be allowed to plan anything by their boss or their spouse, most likely single and most probably sitting on their hand as I write this...
  • Matt George
    Liberty is slowly killing this sport. Such a shame. They are so quick to find ways to squeeze more money out with complete disregard to the fan experience.
  • Neil Bah
    one comprises 2 shapes to create a letter, the other is one shape divided by a line, completely different in a lawyers perspective.
  • Daniel Vernon
    I just can’t believe there are two organisations in the world that think this logo is cool.
  • John Taylor
    They should have kept the previous one. The new one licks the sweat off a dead man's balls.
  • Tom Parke
    Adam Hill Will hopefully teach them not to fuck about with anything else!
  • Merrill Mez Lombard
    Easy to confuse. I wanted to watch cars race, but now I just look like a ballerina.
  • Laz Till
    Designer dident check after making his youtube point ffs
  • Laz Till
    Be original be different but that's hard ... fluffers
  • Kevin Ellis
    U would think someone would do there homework
  • Adam Forwood
    January called, they want their news back
  • Ben Fisher
    Go back to the old one
  • Michael Riber Markvorsen
    Bring back our old trademark!
  • Juan Romo
    Last name likes that
  • Laz Till
    Wow fkn Wow

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