Rich Energy, the energy drinks firm that’s sponsoring Formula 1’s Haas team, is using a logo it ‘lifted’ from British bicycle company Whyte Bikes. Rich Energy has now been ordered to stop using the logo, which as well as appearing on its drinks cans also features prominently on the Haas team’s F1 cars and drivers’ helmets.
‘Directly and knowingly’
A UK Court issued the ruling in May after Whyte brought legal proceedings against Rich Energy. The judgement found that Rich Energy, or in any event its design consultancy Staxoweb, ‘knowingly’ copied the Whyte logo.
Staxoweb’s founder presented a Rich Energy brand manual as evidence for the defence, which he claimed had been published in 2015. However, during the case it emerged that the brochure had in fact been produced in 2018. The Court concluded that it found ‘some significant findings of dishonesty’.
However, the logos haven’t yet been taken off the Haas-sponsored racing cars and helmets because Rich Energy, which doesn’t accept the ruling, has lodged an appeal.