Dalelorenzo's GDI Blog
15Jun/210

What is the driving force behind Intellectual Property of Formula 1

This article is written by Nisha Modak, prosecuting a Diploma in Intellectual property rights, Media and Entertainment Laws from lawSikho.com.

Pole place

Everyone is driven by something, and that something is finishing first and finishing fast. The most extravaganza and showy play of all is the Formula 1( F1 ). It is the pinnacle of motorsport wherein a clear difference of carry-on is seen in each unit at every level. Winning and losing can be measured by the tenth and sometimes hundredths of a second. The squad in-directly decides the fate of each player in this sport. The basis of innovation capabilities and knowledge acquired, and it is acquired through its competitors is the formula in Formula 1. To protect such formulas, watertight armour is required at every level and such formulae can be protected by Intellectual property( IP ). The amount of the scheme, ingenuity, and engineering is involved hence, these levels of shield is involved.

F1 relates the rule of not working hard but directing smart-alecky. The sporting regulations in Formula 1 are not only a long battleground for crews but also a part of the process, as the intellectual capital acquisition is accepted. F1 has created a competitive offset between squads leading to race-specific competition and non-team athletics. The IP is the difference between losing and prevailing. The 107 -second rule not only works on the road for the lap epoch but in all the aspects of F1. Neither Hamilton nor Michel Schumacher are the heroes of F1, but their designers are. IP of each team specifies success on and off its route as it makes into consideration not only patents but also its Trademarks, Copyright, temperament right, and countless debatable topics like Shoey, F1’s collision with its own mark, and McLaren- Ferrari Spygate.

Pit stop in Patents

Naturally, if the engine is the key that opens the adversary an rim over the other and which aids the car to win even by a few seconds, the innovation and technology, and intend of that engine is the first IP protection they must seek. Though Patent protection is mirrored in other high-tech arenas like communications and medicines that likewise leads to intense competition, F1 instead needs Patents. The conclude behind this is simple, it is a competition. It meant that if a unit designs an inventive technology for its engine, stirring the car 10 seconds quicker demonstrating it an advantage against other adversaries and they further go upon to lock such a patent, other teams will simply vote it out through the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile( FIA ), FIA Technical Working Group process by the end of the season. The other teams will not have access to it. FIA has settled that the patented engineering "wouldve been" settled illegal if an F1 team were to try and enforce a patent. This regulation is kept in mind so that the competitor at the level field is maintained and as many vehicles as possible are competing in the race together.

Another problem faced by the F1 industry with respect to enforcing Patents is the time involved in acquiring a successful Patent. F1 scoots take place all over the world and such a crew would have to obtain a Patent in each of these territories. Even through PCT applications, the Patent publication will be effected immediately following the expiration of 18 months from the priority date. By such epoch, another team would have come up with an innovation, as this industry moves fast and F1 would have completed 2 seasons leaving such a Patent inefficient for that time. At the same time, the teams would not want disclosure of their Patent which can be advanced upon by competitors specially when the award is not assured.

The Cockpit security system occurrence

A classic occasion of Patent is the Cockpit safety system case wherein in Jens Nygaard registered a clothing against FIA and asked for compensation, F1 and two teams accusing the use of Halo protective arrangement as FIA, Formula 1, Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, and other business made and imported the Halo and a same "Aeroscreen" design meant to protect motorists' tops and cervixes in scoots which was owned and is patented by Nygaard. Though Mercedes unveiled Halo for its car in 2015 and disavowed any collaboration, FIA in return refused to compensate Nygaard and refused to acquire a license stating that FIA chose Halo in 2017 and actively procreated an obligation exists for all F1 teams to use the system. The conviction is pending in court.

Inventions that were helpful to each team

Some Patent abilities which were helpful to each team and resolved various problems and are probably boycotted for their habit in F1 e. g. Active suspension system by Professor Smith working then with the Williams F1 team and to the contrary Lotus Renault GP now known as Renault F1 Team had filed a request( WO 2011/089373) of such a Patent that, the flywheel agree as applied before was not required by providing inertial action of a liquid. Patent between Cambridge Enterprise and McLaren( EP 1,402, 327 B2 ), consuming the code name J-Damper was retained mystery by NDA between the companies for years. The patent was obtained on the introduction of a third element adjacent to springtimes and shock absorbers. Though F1 scarcity Patents, this has not stopped F1 Teams to acquire hide Patents.

Resistance control of Trade secret

Though the teams cannot Patent and derive advantages out of it, the motivation and the spirit of competition are kept intact by protecting their invention through Trade secret. It is not only highly confidential that holds message but also nurses commercial-grade value and is subject to certain strict steps to keep the same a secret. Trade secret in F1 defines and marks IP strategy on the basis of which it is formed by saving a Trade Secret.

The guidelines under FIA specify that it is not illegal to alter designer autoes, but merely which are done on the basis of their exterior appearances. In 2020, Racing Point’s team admitted that their automobile( also known as Pink Mercedes ), RP20 was modeled closely on the Mercedes Car W1 0 which had won 2019 ’s race . If car manufacturers of F1 have some parts of the car that are deemed to have a potent aerodynamic consequence, "they il be"' listed’ which means that they must prove that they have developed and designed such parts by themselves and for their own exclusive habit and the same are not acquired from their rivals or third party. “This was initiated to ensure that F1 remains a constructor series.” However, various ailments were filed from F1 teams after Renault accused the Racing Points team of using rear brake ducts who the hell is rolled for the start of 2020 and appeared to be similar to that of the Mercedes 2019 car. “It had been able to shortcut the design of a rostered role, allowing it to use those layout assets elsewhere and potentially increase an advantage over rivals.” However, Racing Point has simply reverse engineered it by photographing Mercedes. This led the FIA to specify that rules are not black and white and open to interpretation. Since then, it is no longer legal for other teams to use brake duct design due to their aerodynamic accomplish which is already in use by the current team.

Different programmes applied to protect data-driven highly confidential mysteries

To protect their technological info from being revealed out, crews use different methods to protect their data-driven highly confidential secrets. For instance, Mercedes engages in a USB storage, Pen drive Policy provided by Mercedes High-Performance Powertrains( HPP) and mandates that this invention shall be used for HPP encryption the needs and its own security conformity and that usage of any other USB is prohibited. Even after this protocol from Mercedes, Mercedes Engineer Benjamin Hoyle resigned to join Ferrari after his expression contract purposed. Mercedes took vigorous steps to protect its confidential information. It was alleged that Hoyle not only took registers containing systems to decrypt raw data, its Hungarian Grand Prix report but too tried to cover its tracks by removing some data. Mercedes is looking for a way to get its data back and to seek suppressions for Hoyle from working with any other F1 unit.

The F1 controversial espionage “Spygate”: one of the greatest Trade secret expropriation occurrences

The F1 controversial espionage “Spygate” is one of the biggest Trade secret expropriation cases wherein Ferrari propelled an investigation and litigated McLaren as, then Ferrari Technical manager legislated and leaked confidential information not only of its budget, machines, technological report but too that Ferrari has cheated and won the Australian Grand Prix in 2006 The documents so disclosed too contained 780 -page documents relating to 2007 F1 Ferrari car, wholly which resulted in penalty sum of USD 100 million to McLaren and exclusion of McLaren from 2007 Constructors’ World Championship.

Just four companies- Ferrari, Honda, Renault, and Mercedes supply instruments and form the grid of the entire F1 sport and thus keeping( Teams) each other’s secrets while developing their own devices for prevailing the championships is quite the challenge in F1 specifically in connection to its IP as they need to protect any kind of traction in their own Trade Secrets.

Trademark traffic

Formula 1 has a reputation that it has been earmarking for more than 50 years. The stature is formed on the reputation, symbol, and symbol evaluate. Clearly, F1 has managed to do that all these years as their history of the championship is associated with this observes like F1 badges, F1 FORMULA 1 logos, F1 FIA FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP logo, FORMULA 1, FORMULA ONE, F1, FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, GRAND PRIX, F1 GRAND PRIX, FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX, and related distinguishes are Trademarks of Formula 1 Licensing BV, a Formula 1 fellowship. This instrument of IP shall be given utmost importance when it comes to F1, without which standing and the word of F1 is blurred and the world will start to become unrelated when it comes to the Soul of Solo motorsport in the world.

Since Liberty Media obtained F1 in 2017, F1’s logo has been changed from slanted Letter F and the race directions opposite to, arched stripes passing through the midriff which is followed by a straight line. However, the big-hearted stationary giant Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company( 3M) opposed the mark in the European Intellectual dimension Office( EUIPO ) which was accepted due to previous registration and has a resemblance to their mark which appears on therapeutic dres on Futuro range. The central problem here is 3M shall be used for a Trademark on its logo on 17 th February 2017, which after four months the mark was registered and F1 applied in November 2017, which opened an upper hand to 3M. Likewise, that F1’s logo was applied in 26 first-class out of 45 grades wherein Logos can be cross-file, and the collision appeared as F1 launched a line of clothing with a brand-new motto, while 3M has applied in the class for only therapeutic clothe. Though F1’s employment eliminates therapeutic cloak which 3M’s stigmatize is registered this does not guarantee that there won’t be a likelihood of confusion between the 2 designs.

If the mark is decided in the favour of 3M, the value of the company would be staggering and that F1’s portfolio of brands that have become household names could hit the finances of the company big time. F1 has made applications of the other 2 alternative records which have been panned out and not resisted. However , if F1 has decided to go ahead with another emblem, which represents its branding, there might lead to a shift in the recognition of F1 simply as a boast and not a monopoly of the highest class of auto racing.

F1 has not only been seen as a top-end category of machine hastening but the word mark F1 was also acquired scarcity peculiar character, as per the court finding in the case of Formula One Licensing BV v. OHIM, and to be said that, ““F1” was thus descriptive, and so the public would not consider it to be the dominant element of the overall impression conveyed by the application mark “'F’ and the numeral' 1’ which are seen as the generic moniker of different categories of a racing car and, by increase, of hastens involving such vehicles and that, there was no likelihood of confusion between the F1 mark and a later figurative label for “F1 live. “As for the “F1 logo” mark, the court considered that there was a lack of visual similarity and only poor phonetic and conceptual similarity.”

Since Liberty Media’s take over, F1 has been rebranding its epitome and establishing it a more glamorous examine. Shoey- means a platform performance of boozing champagne from Shoe, Trademark was granted to Formula one licensing even though initiated by Daniel Riccardo on the F1 podium, which technically goes back 15 years being an Australian invention. It was registered in one class, being the central list, which incorporates glass, beer mugs etc. F1’s Trademark and its acquiring Trademarks is one of the main driving forces of its Intellectual property rights.

Copyright crew

Like any other sport, F1 is well protected under its Copyrights as well. As the internet is ruling the world through digital domination, F1 has been more protective of its digital and broadcasting rights and as a strategic move to attract young witness, it could be shifting its broadcasting titles to Amazon prime. F1 too makes all the teams sign a Concorde Agreement which specifies that all teams shall design almost all parts of their car right from gearboxes to tires in shunning of misuse of confidential information.

F1 industry still facing infraction of Copyright

Even after all measures are taken, the F1 industry still faces violation in Copyright. In Force India Formula One Team Limited v. Malaysia Racing Team SDN BHD& others, the Force India team were gifted EUR2 5,000 in damages “due to breach of copyright in relation to the design of a magnitude pose of an F1 racing car of a adversary F1 team. Copyright infringement took place by applying confidential information of CAD data which were developed by Aerolab for Force India team who were motif consultants and had entered into a development contract with Force India in 2008 ”. “This all served to further demonstrate that whilst Aerolab did misappropriation some of Force India's confidential information, they did not acquire potential benefits, other than saving some time.”

The gaming manufacture is on F1’s radar

Though Copyright has relevance in F1, the gaming industry is on the F1 radar recently as it being a popular community in the gaming world, countless YouTube directs are facing takedown notices as the same cannot be broadcasted over their channel as Formula 1 Management( FOM) has claimed Copyright over more than a million videos. The intellect behind this is that FOM being the business backstage of F1 has claimed Copyright on gameplay footage being used by such YouTubers or gamers broadcasting their games in the F1 industry equating to not acquiring an implied Copyright license.

Personalities of the teams and their entrants model a part of F1’s IP. Lewis Hamilton , now being "the worlds biggest" word of F1 than ever due to his 7-world championship entitlements, has limited his contract for the season of F1-2021 to one year simply from signing a two-year contract at least with the team. This is a big hit to Mercedes as Hamilton’s name is associated with it and if he decides to quit Mercedes by the end of the year, the brand quality and the most valuable marketing asset will be lost, thereby Mercedes losing its personality as a team and being a profit-making team rather than merely being a cost. The crews in this digital age must figure a way out to maintain all of their Copyright and avoided using which leads to banking upon its rightful freedoms.

Chasing chequers: conclusion

The idea behind Intellectual property rights is to protect and stop others from gaining success by making use of something that is or was developed and created by someone else, its owner. IP has been the prototype of F1 without which it stands nothing. IP being the crux of F1, it is difficult to point out and specify a single privilege driving the use of force and that one cannot function without the other as all its IP are interdependent and co-exist. The tournament is getting tuff by the day as brand-new contracts and regulations are in the pipeline for the 2022 season solely after Covid-1 9. These also include such regulations that there is no dominance of strength by one team and the game shall remain fair and equal for all.

F1 mostly races by technology which is starting to make their way not only on the tour but also onto road gondolas. “However, due to the use of trade secret to protect most fabrications, and how difficult it is to determine whether a patent lotion is derived from F1 innovation, the exact size of that action is difficult to quantify from a look at the patent register”. F1 should consider taking up Patenting activities as F1 teams develop technologies that could also be applicable in its creation cars, who indirectly could lose technology as there is larger scale patenting envisioned on in artery motor vehicles and could reach the masses abruptly. FIA needs to be keener on hindering the teams as well as F1’s IP intact by deporting more statements, inspection check of cars, regularly deport IP audit and safeguard each team’s policy separately which will help in the progression of F1 in the tour as each car and crew majorly relies on IP.

Reference Formula 1: A Driving Force Behind Intellectual property rights?- Intellectual Property- UK( mondaq.com) https :// www.law3 60. com/ articles/ 1331368/ race-car-driver-hamilton-cleared-of-patent-infringement? replica= 1? imitation= 1 https :// www.motorsportmagazine.com/ articles/ single-seaters/ f1/ what-racing-point-did-wrong-brake-duct-penalty-explained https :// blogs.orrick.com/ trade-secrets-watch/ 2015/12/ 23/ trade-secrets-in-the-fast-lane-formula-one-and-the-importance-of-trade-secret-protection / https :// www.theengineer.co.uk/ f1-ip-dispute-trade-secrets /#:~: text= There% 20 is% 20 a% 20 long% 20 schedule, accessible% 20 in% 20 the% 20 automotive% 20 manufacture. https :// www.foxsports.com.au/ motorsport/ formula-one/ f1-reportedly-trademarks-the-term-shoey-to-cash-in-on-daniel-ricciardos-podium-celebration/ news-story/ dbcab3f 3fcd533781a372c39bc12400c

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