Haas’s title sponsor Rich Energy may have to change its branding after losing a court case over its logo.
The court upheld ATB’s claim, ruling “[the defendent’s] device is an infringing copy of [the claimant’s] device pursuant to section.”
Judge Melissa Clarke found Rich Energy’s Williams Storey “was fully involved in the design process and knowingly copied” the logo. The judge also raised questions about Storey’s reliability as a witness.
“Mr Storey provided different and inconsistent accounts of the development of [the Rich Energy logo],” she wrote in her judgement. “He often did not answer questions directly, preferring to make speeches about his vision for his business or alternatively seeking to evade questions by speaking in generalities or in the third person plural. He only answered several questions when I intervened.”
She gave an example of Storey “[stating] in an impassioned fashion that he was ‘not in the business of trying to create a world-class business by taking any inspiration from anybody else whatsoever’, but his own written evidence was that his starting point when thinking about developing a logo was to carry out logo research on what other drinks companies were doing, and to carrying out internet searches on stag head logos used by other companies.”
“I am satisfied that some of Mr Storey’s evidence was incorrect or misleading and that he was involved in the manufacture of documents during the course of litigation to provide additional support for the defendants’ case,” she added.
In a statement Rich Energy said: “Today the judgment was released in the claim brought by Whyte Bikes against us in respect of our stag logo. We are disappointed with the judgment and the findings of the judge which run counter to our submissions. We are considering all of our legal options including appeal.”
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