Lewis Hamilton has been fighting a 3-year legal battle over the name “Hamilton” with a watch company that has been making watches with that brand name since the late 1800’s.
According the the Mail, Lewis Hamilton’s legal team was denied their attempt to prevent Hamilton watches from using the name in the European Union.
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) ruled in the watchmaker’s favor denying Lewis’s request to cancel the trademark filed by Hamilton Watches.
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.
‘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.’
Protecting one’s brand is important and you can imagine that as Lewis became more and more popular, his brand became more and more valuable but while some may see his claim as defending his personal brand, others may see it as hubris and in the end, the courts reckoned that the watchmaker has been doing so since 1892 and that trumps Lewis’s claim to the name “Hamilton”.