November 30, 2020
Recently-crowned seven-time champion, Lewis Hamilton, may be one of the greatest Formula One drivers of all time. While the athlete rarely loses on the race track, he is facing defeat in a new arena. As reported by ESPN, Lewis Hamilton has lost a three-year legal battle over Hamilton International’s trademark, ‘Hamilton’.
In 2017, Lewis Hamilton’s company, 44IP, initiated the application to invalidate Hamilton International’s mark in Europe. The F1 driver had plans to develop his own line of timepieces and his company argued that Hamilton International appropriated the trademark in bad faith, with the aim of preventing fair competition.
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) rejected the company’s submissions on the basis that “there is no natural right for a person to have his name registered as a trademark when that would infringe third parties’ rights”. The court noted that the contested mark could be traced as far back as Hamilton International’s inception in 1892, close to a century before the F1 driver was even born.
Since that time, Hamilton International has supplied watches to WW1 military personnel and even styled Elvis Presley during his role in the 1961 film Blue Hawaii. According to the Daily Mail, Hamilton International is now exclusively entitled to utilize the Hamilton trademark on accessories throughout Europe.
While EUIPO may have waived the checkered flag to close this legal battle, something tells us the F1 legend, who famously has the words “Still I Rise” tattooed across his back and on his helmet, will drive on.
Authors: Meghan King and Maddie Warren