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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48 comments on “Haas sponsor Rich Energy copied logo from Whyte Bikes, court rules”
Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
14th May 2019, 16:39
A good decision, its clear as day.
With the case now adjourned pending a potential appeal, I wonder will we see the logo removed from the livery with immediate effect, or will they keep flogging the dead stag?
14th May 2019, 16:46
IF they are smart, they immediately pull out the OTHER logo they had in their back pockets because they knew all along that this stunt with a stolen logo wouldn’t fly @fullcoursecaution.
14th May 2019, 16:52
If trying any flying deer, then Santa will sue then.
14th May 2019, 16:53
Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
14th May 2019, 16:53
@bascb indeed if this was a PR stunt hats off to them!
It’s going to be a costly job if they have to recall all that stock, hundreds, if not thousands of pence.
14th May 2019, 16:54
Maybe this was why we never got to see any of the cans in shops yet. They were holding them back until they announce the new logo?
Picasso 1.9D FTW (@picasso-19d-ftw)
14th May 2019, 20:54
Here you go
Admittedly William Storey gave this to me so I didn’t find it in the shops either. Drank another can to keep me going on the autoroute but I’d incline towards a strong coffee on the whole
14th May 2019, 21:15
Oh wow, an actual can @picasso-19d-ftw. But as you mention, it was part of the promo stock so who knows what the rest of the cans (if there are actually more) look like!
14th May 2019, 22:46
@picasso-19d-ftw – I think what’s more surprising than the existence of a Rich Energy drink can is the fact you drank from it. Madlad.
14th May 2019, 16:49
Rich Energy could buy this logo for $175.
Cheaper than discussing an appeal with their lawyers ;)
15th May 2019, 16:17
Cheaper than discussing an appeal with ONE of their lawyers!!
Mark Thomson (@melthom)
15th May 2019, 18:33
They soon will be Poor Energy
16th May 2019, 14:04
That looks like logo for clothing brand Allen Soly.
Darryn Smith (@darryn)
14th May 2019, 17:08
Hard to believe anybody is fighting over such a cheap looking logo. Honestly, Whyte did Rich a favor on this one.
14th May 2019, 18:00
@darryn Took the words right out of my mouth.
I wish ATB all the best in their endeavours, but I hope their approach to other areas of their business doesn’t mirror that of their logo design.
14th May 2019, 18:04
Because it was “free”… in the meaning that you don’t need to hire anyone to design it… just open laptop, search logos, find any suitable, add 2 tiny strokes – done! Profit!
14th May 2019, 18:18
It’s not the logo, it’s the brand recognition associated with it, and as crap as the logo is (it was 2008…) it represents a company that could be confused with another quite easily.
Really pleased with this decision, I’m a Whyte Bikes fan and additionally Storey is as arrogant and dodgy as they come.
14th May 2019, 22:45
You mean the paid-for interviews with Peter Windsor haven’t convinced you that Storey is a great guy, with a lot of “ethos” and a great product?
15th May 2019, 12:51
Unfortunately not, and I think the rest of the world are with me, except of course Storey and Windsor…
What I really don’t like about all of this is that the brilliant Scarbs is associated with the latter.
16th May 2019, 20:36
@jett Completely agree – I’m also a Whyte bikes fan. I did my due diligence to flame Storey on Pinkbike, as well. :D
Rich Energy is shady AF, on the whole.
14th May 2019, 17:40
So, does this mean they have to change the logo for their imaginary drinks brand?
14th May 2019, 18:11
You can’t have an imaginary brand without at least one image)
Jimmi Cynic (@jimmi-cynic)
14th May 2019, 19:39
@rocketpanda, @dallein: You just have to imagine a new imaginary logo to identify the imaginary brand. That’s what building a vision is all about.
14th May 2019, 20:49
14th May 2019, 17:43
Just reading the whole judgement now, pretty brutal assessment of Storey. Wonder what he’ll do with the 87 million empty cans he claims to have lying around…
14th May 2019, 20:26
@neilosjames, indeed – whilst the judge may be using diplomatic language, you are right that it is an uncompromising indictment of Storey and his business partner Kelly, to the point where both of them are accused of deliberately, and rather clumsily, trying to fabricate some of the documents they submitted in their defence (basically, that they were created in 2018 and then they attempted to backdate them to 2015).
There are some real stingers from the judge there, such as when Storey’s legal team tried to draw a comparison with another case and he replied “I distinguish this case from Mitchell v BBC, on the facts. In that case, Birss J found that all of the defendants’ witnesses were credible, honest and reliable. That is not the case here.”
For those wanting to read the judgement itself, it can be found here http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/IPEC/2019/1207.html – it makes for rather interesting reading about how evasive and contradictory Storey was when giving evidence.
14th May 2019, 22:48
Wow, that’s brutal. Especially given the judiciary’s preference to couch harsh observations in florid prose.
14th May 2019, 18:06
Such a ridiculous company. Produces imaginary energy drinks and can’t even draw their own logos. Blatanlty copying someone else’s…
14th May 2019, 18:51
Beheaded by the court (it took away their “head”)!
I wonder when this fraud finally unravels…
Someone is clearly just laundering money with this “brand”… how on Earth Haas performed due diligence checks is beyond me:
– Company with nearly inexistent assets (by Financial Statement on 30 September 2017 at least), but somehow enough dosh to sponsor an F1 team, though where – is unclear, because they don’t have money… in the 2017 statements – number of employees 3… obviously with CEO pouring Energy directly in cans… Cash at bank: 581 GBP… not millions… just 581 GBP (1 good 3-day ticket to F1 race)… Tangible assets: 17676 GBP… Money owed: 993520 GBP, Money they owe: 1842794 GBP…
– in 08.2018 they issued astonishing 100 Shares for 100 GBP each!
– in 09.2018 they divided each share by 100, so got 10000 shares with a value of 0.01 GBP each
– COM Domain registered on 2005-06-28 (so even not by them, someone else created it…)
– US Domain registered on 2017-09-20
– richenergyshop.com registered on 2018-12-28
I really hope Haas has some backup plan…
14th May 2019, 18:54
* Correction – 100 Shares with a total aggregate value of 100 GBP (not “each”).
14th May 2019, 23:26
The issuing of 100 shares is not suspicious or unusual for a private company such as Rich Energy. Issuing 100 shares at a nominal price (normally 1p or £1) is a common a way of assigning a % of the company’s assets and returns to those who started it while limiting the liabilities to the company – hence Rich Energy Limited (Ltd.)
This is different to those companies whose millions of shares are publicly traded through exchanges and which limit their liabilities through public ownership (Plc).
14th May 2019, 20:45
Laundering money by sponsoring a F1 team?
Once upon a time criminals were more discrete..
15th May 2019, 9:18
I’d imagine haas being smart enough to ask for the money before putting their stickers on the car. That being said there are many ways sponsorship money can be paid. Force india used to have some kind of loan system with one of their sponsors. The haas f1 team is not he only sponsorship deal the haas has going on either. I think they sponsor one football team and one motorbike racing team as well.
14th May 2019, 19:35
Legitimacy of Lord Williams of House Baratheon royal line is under question.
14th May 2019, 20:05
Staggering read about Rich:https://jalopnik.com/what-you-find-when-you-look-into-rich-energy-the-myste-1833303620
Btw, Jon Whyte, the founder, is an ex-Benetton designer, MS days.
14th May 2019, 20:41
Wow that does make interesting reading! And I never knew that about Jon Whyte…
14th May 2019, 20:57
@esteban – very interesting article, although I feel like taking a shower after seeing some of the info in that article…
14th May 2019, 20:13
You know Haas has found a perfect brand partner in Rich energy… Haas copies every detail of the Ferrari as Rich energy copies antler logos.
14th May 2019, 21:19
At least Haas made an agreement with Ferrari to allow for it. Then again, Haas actually puts together a car and fields it in a competative field, while the Rich guys clearly have a richer story than solid (or rather fluid) substance @todfod!
14th May 2019, 20:40
I wonder how the hell they hoped to go away with this.
A 4 year old child would give the exact same sentence any copyright and law knowledge.
14th May 2019, 21:57
@liko41, well, the judge did state in his summing up that, in his opinion, Storey “has very little idea of what copyright is and no idea of the difference between copyright and trade marks, even after going through this litigation process”. It is one of those things where it’s hard to tell whether malice or sheer incompetence is the easier explanation…
14th May 2019, 23:04
Why pick one? Malice and incompetence frequently coexist
15th May 2019, 9:30
But, hey.. it didn’t require neither specific competence nor particularly high morals..
The stag logo is literally carbon copied!
15th May 2019, 0:38
Wow! This what corporatocracy and being an idiot is all about.
A totally lame original logo and, as it appears, a totally lame copy of it.
I guess both of these “master minds” behind them are being paid a respectable amount of money per year…
15th May 2019, 3:49
Storey telling stories :)
Paul Gawne (@foolishyouth)
15th May 2019, 9:29
So the imaginary company with an imaginary drink gets found out over its stolen logo.
15th May 2019, 9:33
@foolishyouth – imagine that ;)
23rd May 2019, 14:31
Actually the judge is not “he”, she’s a woman, Judge Melissa Clarke. Best but of the judgement, imo:
“… when Mr Wyand in cross-examination tried to understand his (i.e. Store’s) evidence about the sales figures of Rich Energy drinks, and put to him that he had been quoted in the press in February 2019 as saying that the First Defendant (Rich Energy) had produced 90 million cans, Mr Storey explained that it had produced 90 million cans, but had not yet filled and sold them.”
Comments are closed.