Whytes Bikes v Rich Energy - lessons from the Haas F1 Team sponsor’s copyright dispute
On 14 May 2019, Judge Melissa Clarke handed down her judgment1 in a copyright dispute between ATB Sales Limited (trading as Whytes Bikes) and Rich Energy Limited, energy drink producer and title sponsor of the Haas Formula One Team, concerning the two stag logos depicted below.
Judge Clarke ultimately held that Rich Energy’s logo amounted to an infringing copy of Whytes Bikes’ logo, entitling Whytes Bikes to an injunction and damages or an account of profits. This article reviews the decision, the subsequent events between Rich Energy, its stakeholders and Haas, and takeaway points for sports teams when considering sponsors.
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Partner, Penningtons Manches CooperGavin is a trade mark, designs and brand protection specialist, advising brand owners in a wide range of industry sectors including fashion, retail, sport, drinks, education, publishing, IT, biotech and professional services.
Former Associate, Penningtons Manches Cooper
Jaya is a former associate in the IP, IT and commercial team in Reading. Her expertise covers a range of commercial agreements, intellectual property licences and IT contracts, including terms and conditions of business, software licences and contracts for the supply of goods and services.
With a particular interest in data protection matters, she advises clients on the legal basis for processing and implementing GDPR-compliant agreements, policies and procedures. She is a member of the firm’s sports, fashion and life sciences sector groups and also plays an active role in the CSR committee in Reading.