August 28, 2018
As reported by Independent, Formula 1 is racing towards a legal battle regarding its recently launched logo.
In November of 2017, Formula 1 replaced its long-standing and iconic logo with a more simple design tailored for the digital age.
Not only did the change illicit significant criticism from the racing community, it also caught the attention of 3M, as the logo resembles the logo of Futuro – a 3M sub-brand that produces compression clothing.
3M opposed Formula 1’s trademark application before the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The records reveal that 3M registered a pan-European trademark for the Futuro logo in June of 2017. Given that Formula 1 only applied for its new logo in November of 2017, it would seem 3M has precedence.
The legal dispute will hinge on whether or not it can be proven that there is a likelihood of confusion between the two brands. Of interest is Formula 1’s exclusion of therapeutic clothing, which is the industry in respect of which 3M’s mark is registered.
Formula 1’s head on collision with 3M could be alleviated through a negotiated settlement. However, Formula 1 may be forced to pay a steep price if it wishes to remain in control of its already controversial logo.
Combined with the recent announcement of the retirement of all-time great driver, Fernando Alonso, these are challenging times for Formula 1.
Given the existence of the Canadian Grand Prix (held in Montreal each year in June), Formula 1 has unsurprisingly also sought to trademark its new logo in Canada (see: application #1868570, 1868575, 1868576 and 1868569).
Authors: Jordan D. Scopa and Steve Inglis