By decision of 27 February 2023 The Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) has denied Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen to register the trademark “MAX 1”. Verstappen wished to register MAX 1 as trademark for inter alia a clothing line. However, this registration was denied as result from a so-called opposition procedure commenced by Nike. Nike’s goal was to protect its older trademark Air Max.
Nike successfully argued that the public would take the MAX 1 clothing for a Nike brand related to the AIR MAX brand. In legal terms: Nike argued the existences of likelihood of confusion under the Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property. The BOIP ruled that this likelihood exists mainly because the trademarks (somewhat) corresponded both visually and aurally.
On a side note, Max Verstappen is not the only Formula 1 World Champion having problems with registering its trademark. His rival Lewis Hamilton is fighting for years now with the Hamilton watch brand. His trademark “Lewis Hamilton” was rejected after opposition by the Hamilton watch brand.
Keep an eye on this blog for a deeper review of the Verstappen-case.