Lewis Hamilton has lost his legal battle to block Hamilton International, a luxury Swiss watchmaker, from trademarking the name ‘Hamilton’.
The Formula 1 driver claimed the watch manufacturer’s trademark prevented “fair competition” and attempted to prevent the company from registering its brand in Europe.
The EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) threw out his case as they said he had no “natural right” to the name, which the watchmaker has been using since the 19th Century.
In its ruling, the EUIPO said: “The argument relating to the IP rights of the racing driver ‘Lewis Hamilton’ fails. ‘The contested mark consists solely of one word ‘HAMILTON’, and not ‘LEWIS HAMILTON’. It is a rather common surname in English-speaking countries.
“There is no “natural right” for a person to have his or her own name registered as a trademark, when that would infringe third parties’ rights.”
It added: “Even the cancellation applicant explicitly accepted that the contested mark ‘HAMILTON’ had been used since 1892, i.e. even before the date of birth of “Lewis Hamilton” as a natural person.
“No bad faith can be found on the part of the EU trademark proprietor. In fact, the EU trademark proprietor demonstrated a significant economic activity in the horological field since 1892.”