Swatch wins trademark battle with F1 champion Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton has lost his bid to stop the watchmaker Swatch registering the “Hamilton International” trademark in Europe.

This content was published on November 23, 2020 - 12:51
Lewis Hamilton after winning the Turkish Grand Prix last week. Keystone / Tolga Bozoglu

The European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has thrown out the attempt by Hamilton’s 44IP company to block the Swiss Swatch group from selling timepieces in Europe under the name “Hamilton International”.

EUIPO said that since the trademark consisted in the sole word “Hamilton” and not “Lewis Hamilton”, it was not – as 44IP argued – an affront to fair competition.

According to the Daily Mail newspaper, 44IP had also argued that Hamilton International had never been used commercially – but the court found that it had indeed been in use long before the 35-year-old British driver had been born.

The original Hamilton International watch company was founded in 1892 in the US and was taken over by Swatch in 1974. Watches made by the group have been worn by, among others, Elvis Presley and Marlene Dietrich.

Hamilton, Lewis that is, is a partner of another luxury Swiss-based watch company, the Schaffhausen-based IWC.

EUIPO ordered 44IP to pay the opposing party €1,000 (CHF1,080) in legal costs.

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