Hamilton loses lawsuit against watchmaker

21-11-2020 11:47 | Updated: 21-11-2020 12:25
by GPblog.com
General
Hamilton loses lawsuit against watchmaker

Lewis Hamilton has lost a lawsuit against a Swiss watchmaker. The case was about whether or not the trademark 'Hamilton' was being used lawfully.

The court decided that the Swiss company may use the name and also sell watches with the same name. The three-year legal battle was accompanied by a claim by the advisors of the F1 driver's company, 44IP, that the watchmaker Hamilton International had appropriated the trademark "in bad faith" in 2017.

But the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) thought otherwise. It ruled against Hamilton's company by pointing out that the name 'Hamilton International' goes all the way back to 1892, when the manufacturer was established in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The company moved to Switzerland in 2003, when it was taken over.

"Common name"

"The argument relating to the IP rights of the racing driver ‘Lewis Hamilton’ fails," read the EUIPO's verdict. "The contested mark consists solely of one word ‘HAMILTON’, and not ‘LEWIS HAMILTON’. It is a rather common surname in English-speaking countries."There is no ‘natural right’ for a person to have his or her own name registered as a trademark, when that would infringe third parties’ rights."

"Even the cancellation applicant explicitly accepted that the contested mark ‘HAMILTON’ had been used since 1892, i.e. even before the date of birth of ‘Lewis Hamilton’ as a natural person. No bad faith can be found on the part of the EU trademark proprietor. In fact, the EU trademark proprietor demonstrated a significant economic activity in the horological field since 1892," the website F1i quotes the judgment of the Court.

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