Marussia have brought a trademark case against Manor saying they infringed there trademark by using its name during the 2015 Formula 1 season. The case has been rejected.
Legal documents seen by the magazine Autosport say the licenced for the Marussia branding came to an end on 31st December 2014 but last year the team used the Marussia name as its Formula 1 team and chassis for 2015 after the outfit was saved from administration.
Manor argued that if it changed their name without consent from F1’s commercial rights holder, it would lose entitlement to prize money based on previous seasons. They say Marussia “impliedly consented” to the use of the trademark and there wouldn’t be any “likelihood of confusion” on the part of the relevant public.
Mr Justice Malkes said Manor has “no real prospect” of proving that its use of the claimant’s trademark was with the claimant’s consent.
He concluded the estoppel defence is not available to Manor, and that it is “improbable” the trademark defences under Article 9 and Article 12 would succeed.
A spokesman for Manor said “Marussia put the company [the F1 team] into administration in 2014. We made an offer to acquire the team, including the chassis, which they readily accepted, perhaps assuming we would not be able to get the team up and running again.
He said the team has a pending application to plead a counterclaim for declining to pay some Â£520,000 for sponsorship rights.