Court rejects Hamilton offer to arrest watchmaker using his last name RaceFans

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A European court told Lewis Hamilton that a 100-year-old watchmaker could continue to use his last name.Hamilton-based 44IP appealed to the European Union Intellectual Property Office about Hamilton International’s use of the name. The watch company was founded in Pennsylvania in 1892, 93 years before the birth of the Mercedes driver. The court noted that 44IP, “a company that owns the intellectual property rights relating to racing driver Lewis Hamilton,” filed an action in 2017 claiming that Hamilton International had impeded fair competition by using the name. That decision was dismissed and 44IP appealed the decision in February.

The Fourth Board of Appeal ruled against 44IP following their latest attempt to prevent the watchmaker from using the name, stating that its case was ‘unfounded’. She noted that “the contested mark consists of only one word, ‘Hamilton’, not ‘Lewis Hamilton'”, adding that the name “is a fairly common surname in English-speaking countries. ”

“There is no ‘natural right’ for a person to register their own name as a trademark when this would infringe the rights of third parties,” he added.

“Even the applicant for expungement explicitly admitted that the contested mark ‘Hamilton’ had been in use since 1892, that is to say even before the date of birth of ‘Lewis Hamilton’ as a natural person,” the court noted. in his decision.

The activities of Hamilton’s 44IP company, named after its racing number, already gained attention in 2017 when the Paradise Papers leak revealed it had avoided paying millions of pounds in tax on a private jet which he then sold.

The seven-time world champion is in talks with Mercedes to extend his driving contract for the team into the 2021 F1 season and potentially beyond.

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