The new Formula 1 logo, one that came into being at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix could have runs its course already.
Liberty Media’s takeover of the sport brought this logo with it, one that was despised by many as it somehow played with the essence of the sport.
The slanted letter ‘F’ and the lines around it where what F1 had been associated with for so long and suddenly it had a new identity; of course people were not going to go ‘gaga’ over it.
Now, the new logo has a resemblance to 3M’s logo that appears on Futuro range of therapeutic clothing.
3M had actually applied for a trademark on its logo on the 17th of February 2017, as confirmed by the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The logo was registered 4 months later.
F1 on the other hand had applied for the trademark in November 2017, giving 3M an upper hand.
Now, according to the trademark laws, 3M “is entitled to prevent all third parties that do not have his or her consent from using the same or similar signs for identical or related goods and/or services.”, according to the EUIPO.
The application submitted by F1 actually covers just 26 of the 45 categories which logos can be registered in.
3M’s logo is registered in therapeutic clothing and that is what the problem is all about.
3M had lodged a complaint with the EUIPO on May 22nd and a ruling form EUIPO is still awaited but if they rule in favour of 3M, F1 will not be able to use its logo on its clothing merchandise.
With the battle set to go to the courts, if the judge rules in favour of 3M, F1 would have to give up on this new logo.
Liberty Media however would try and pay off 3M so as to not let this matter get to court, as confirmed by Michael Gardner, partner at law firm Wedlake Bell(reported by The Independent).
“As for whether a negotiated settlement could bring the opposition proceedings to an end. Yes that is perfectly possible,” he said.
“The parties can reach a settlement whenever they like. Provided they both agree, the proceedings would be stopped at that point.” he added.
Liberty Media had actually come up with two other logos as well, apart from the one that currently exists. If the current one is discontinued by the court, they might have to switch to one of the two that had been ‘waitlisted’.