Lewis Hamilton’s three-year legal battle with a watch maker over the ‘Hamilton’ trademark has ended in defeat, according to reports.
The Daily Mail report that seven-time World Champion Hamilton has been involved in a long-term legal battle with Swiss watch manufacturer Hamilton International, via his company 44IP, over their attempts to trademark ‘Hamilton’ throughout Europe.
They report that an EU court ruled against Hamilton, stating that the company, which was founded in 1892, has been using the Hamilton name for far longer than Lewis Hamilton has been alive.
44IP’s move to trademark the name “Lewis Hamilton” for goods such as watches and jewellery had been challenged by Hamilton watches.
The company was initially founded in the United States before moving to Switzerland when it was acquired by The Swatch Group.
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), as quoted by the Daily Mail in its ruling said: “The argument relating to the IP rights of the racing driver ‘Lewis Hamilton’ fails.
“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.”
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) November 15, 2020
Hamilton’s efforts in the court room may not have succeeded, but fortunately his Formula 1 career has been far more prosperous.
With victory at the Turkish Grand Prix Hamilton became a seven-time World Champion, putting him level at the top of the sport with Michael Schumacher.
“I want more of these weekends,” he said after the victory. “More tricky conditions like this. The more opportunities like this, the more I’m able to show what I’m able to do.
“And I think today hopefully you can see… I think I deserve my respect.
“I think I have that with my peers. I think they can see how hard… they will know how hard today is, particularly that it is not a car thing.”
If Hamilton wins all three remaining races of the 2020 season then he will match Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel’s record for 13 race wins in a single season.