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Post-it Notes maker sticks it to F1 in row over trademark

Formula 1 may have to pay a fee to Post-it Notes maker 3M to use its new logo after it emerged that the American conglomerate has lodged opposition to the sport’s application for a trademark due to “likelihood of confusion” with one it has already registered.
F1’s new logo was unveiled late last year as part of a rebranding plan by Liberty Media, which bought the sport for $8bn (?6bn) at the start of 2017 and listed it on Nasdaq.
The new logo has two parts – a curved stripe with a white line running through the middle followed by a straight line. It bears a striking resemblance to a logo that has been used by 3M for the past year on its Futuro range of therapeutic clothing, including ankle supports, knee straps and compression tights.
F1 launched a new line of clothing earlier this year featuring its new logo. 3M applied for a pan-European trademark to its logo on Feb 17 2017, according to records from the EU’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
The trademark was registered four months later. This gives 3M precedence as F1 didn’t lodge the application for its new logo until November. In January The Daily Telegraph revealed that 3M had not given F1 permission to use the design and was considering what action to take.
Post-it Notes maker sticks it to F1 in row over trademark

The logo used on 3M's Futuro range of therapeutic clothing
Records show that 3M lodged opposition to F1’s trademark application on May 22. It usually takes EUIPO up to four months to make a decision.
3M was founded in 1902 as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. It makes more than 55,000 products and has a market capitalisation of $123bn. Last year alone it made pre-tax profits of $7.5bn on revenues of $31.7bn.
F1’s trademark application covers 26 of the total of 45 categories, including one for clothing, but excluding the one relating to therapeutic clothing. However, this separation does not guarantee F1 protection because the products that the logos are used on are similar.
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