The Canadian Grand Prix was thrilling enough, without needing any more scandal. However, it turns out that there was more than just the Vettel versus Hamilton battle to worry about – the Haas team were having a battle all of their own, too.
The Stag Logo
You may have noticed the golden stag logo on the Haas team cars and helmets, as it’s one of the most prominent bit of branding for the team. The logo itself belongs to Rich Energy, who are one of the sponsors of Haas… But they are the ones who asked for the team to remove the logo before the Canadian Grand Prix. It may seem strange, as these sponsorships are usually worth millions of dollars, but there was actually a reason behind it.
There has been an ongoing legal dispute between Rich Energy and the bicycle manufacturer Whyte Bikes. The latter believe that Rich Energy have broken copyright rules in regards to the logo which looks surprisingly similar to their own. In fact, putting the two logos next to each other shows just how close the two are. There are some differences, however, such as an extra branch on the antler and the gold coloring of Rich Energy’s logo.
Take It Off
While a court case is still ongoing, it seems as though Rich Energy doesn’t want to land themselves in any more hot water. Whyte Bikes are allegedly claiming for potential damages or loss of profits, which is quite common in copyright cases. They have also lodged an injunction on Rich Energy to see them stop using the logo immediately. The energy drinks company knew that displaying the stag on the Haas cars would be risky business whilst all of this is ongoing.
It looks like the stag is going to be fought over, but Rich Energy has had to stop using their logo (or is that Whyte Bike’s logo?) on the Haas cars for now. It doesn’t look quite right without the golden stag though, does it?