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Haas Formula I Car’s Stag’s Head Logo Bucked by IPEC

Date: 11 September 2019

 

In ATB Sales Ltd v Rich Energy Ltd & Anor [2019] EWHC 1207 (IPEC) (14 May 2019), a copyright infringement claim, the claimants sought, amongst other things, an injunction which would require the removal of the stag’s head logo from the race car and website of the Rich Energy Haas Formula 1 motor racing team (below left).

 

Ultimately, the claimants succeeded, the IPEC also declaring invalid the registration of the defendant’s stag’s head logo (below right) as a UK trade mark on the basis that its use was liable to be prevented under UK copyright law.

 

In coming to her decision, Her Honour Judge Melissa Clarke criticised the law firm acting for the defendants for describing a disclosure request by the other side as “imbecilic”, saying there were no circumstances where one solicitor should use such language in correspondence with another, and it was “far removed from the profession courtesy” expected. The judge also questioned the veracity of the witness evidence, and confirmed that there was no requirement for a claimant to plead fraud or dishonesty before trial if they later wished to challenge the authenticity of the defendant’s evidence.

 

stag_head1_170 stag_head2_174

Claimant's device           Defendant's device

 

 

Our article will be published in the upcoming Entertainment Law Review (2019), Issue 8: pages 267 to 270.

 

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