Formula One Might Have To Cease Using Its Logo Over Collision With 3M Brand
Auto racing event Formula One might be on a highway to hell following conflict with ‘Post-it Notes’ maker 3M.
The past months haven’t been a smooth ride for the duo. In January, 3M filed a trademark application against the logo due to stark similarities between Formula One’s logomark and the branding for 3M’s compression wear subbrand, Futuro.
Both versions sport a curve, slanted ‘F’ with a line in the center. 3M began to challenge Formula One after the latter rolled out a new line of clothing featuring its logo this year.
While Formula One’s new logo—which was created by Wieden+Kennedy—debuted in November 2017, 3M filed for a pan-European trademark to its lettermark in February 2017, and the application was approved in June 2017.
Formula One applied for a trademark in November 2017, but it hasn’t been passed yet by the European Union of Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
Spotted by the Daily Telegraph, 3M subsequently opposed Formula One’s pending trademark application on 22 May 2018. This means the latter might have to stop using its logo unless it pays 3M a fee.
The new document states that Formula One’s logo shouldn’t just be removed from its clothing line but “all the goods and services” because “there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public.”
If 3M succeeds, Formula One will not be able to register its logo on 26 of the categories it has registered for, which include sports events, tickets, video games, and television coverage.
Receiving the red light to use its own logo could result in a branding calamity for both Formula One and its partners, who will be forced to update their signage and other marketing materials.
The hassle of having to rebrand or reprint new materials would likely mean that Formula One will have to offer 3M a fee to continue using its logomark.
[via Forbes, images via various sources]