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Rich Energy Pulls Logo From Haas F1 Cars After Loss in Copyright Case

Alanis King Jun 07, 2019. 24 comments

Rich Energy, the mysterious energy-drink sponsor of the Haas Formula One Team that seems to perpetually create more questions than answers for onlookers, has, after being taken to court on copyright allegations and losing, pulled its now-infamous stag logo from the team’s cars for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

But the call to remove the logo isn’t about the court ruling, Rich Energy said in a tweet Thursday night. It’s about avoiding “any media circus for the team” while the company fights and wins the “baseless case” against it, the tweet said.

Rich Energy went to court over its logo—a depiction of a deer head meant to represent those living in a park in the London neighborhood of Richmond, where the British drink company derives its name —this year. Fellow British company Whyte Bikes filed the lawsuit, taking Rich Energy to the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales over the alleged similarities between the logos.

A month after its court loss, Rich Energy said it asked Haas to pull its stag logo from the race cars. The “Rich Energy” branding is still there as of first practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, but in word form only.

In the case itself, Judge Melissa Clarke handed Whyte Bikes the win and Rich Energy a scathing judgement in May. Clarke said she thought some of Rich Energy CEO William Storey’s evidence to be “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.”

Clarke said she believed Rich Energy to have “poor witnesses,” including Storey, while Whyte Bikes had “straightforward, credible and reliable witnesses.” She went into detail in the judgement , and Whyte Bikes told Jalopnik it would seek “the removal of the infringing copy of [its] logo from all Rich Energy’s branding, including but not limited to the Haas F1 cars” with its court win.

Rich Energy tweeted soon after the final ruling that it was “looking forward” to seeing Whyte Bikes in court for an appeal on June 27, and that the “truth will emerge.” Storey responded directly as well, telling Jalopnik at the time Rich Energy was “focused on growing the business and this will not impact that one bit.”

“We are disappointed with the judgment as we felt the evidence strongly supported us and I know we designed independently,” Storey wrote in an email. “Unfortunately any case like this is about an opinion of a third party.”

But that third-party opinion seems to have convinced Rich Energy to want to hide its logo for now, because, you know, nobody wants a media circus around their race team.

24 Comments

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