Select motorsport related media outlets and a UK based news outlet have built themselves into a little bit of a frenzy over the past few days around possible similarities between the new Formula One logo and a possible logo for 3M brand Futuro.
It has been suggested Formula One may be facing difficulties around the use of their newly launched logo due to these possible similarities, and whilst it is true the shapes used to suggest the letter F in both the new Formula One logo and an image of Futuro product do bear a resemblance, it seems appropriate to add a little context to this continuing story.
Prior to launching the new Formula One logo Liberty Media will have secured all necessary trademark and copyright registrations to ensure no restrictions of use. This is standard practice. Any contest or conflict will have been addressed in private significantly ahead of launch.
With respect to the image of Futuro product with a similar logo, this logo is not currently used by the brand, as the brand website found here illustrates. Whilst the image circulating news outlets suggests the product may be on sale using this logo, it is likely the product shown is part of line trial by the business to review brand awareness when in a shop environment. ( a common trial completed when consumer goods explore rebranding products)
It is correct that 3M have registered the trademark with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, details of which can be found here. However, within this documentation, the categories under which 3M have registered the trademark are also clearly stated:
|List of goods and services||Orthopedic articles; orthopedic braces and supports; orthopedic elastic bandages and wraps; orthopedic cervical collar; orthopedic sling; hot packs; cold packs; therapeutic hosiery; compression hosiery; anti-embolism hosiery; therapeutic arch supports; heat patch for application to skin for therapeutic purposes.|
With such a limited scope, 3M would be unlikely to challenge the Liberty Media’s new logo for Formula One. Additionally, it should not be forgotten that the F1 logo contains the suggestion of 2 symbols, whereas the 3M logo suggests 1. It seems less likely still 3M would contest 50% of a logo.
If in the highly unlikely scenario 3M did take issue with the new Formula One logo and a similarity was determined, the most likely outcome would be that Liberty Media would be unable to offer branded products listed in the 3M registered trademark category. Simply put, Liberty Media might not be able to bring out those F1 branded compression stockings the world has been waiting for. Which I am sure is something that fans and Liberty Media will be able to come to terms with over time.
In a recent interview for Autosport, Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Piere Gasly commented:
“I don’t want to talk negative about Formula 1, because I think there are way too many people who are talking about it in a negative way, and it is a great series, great cars and people should be more positive about it.”
Perhaps its time for motorsport outlets, this site included, to take these comments on board. Rather than criticising the sport we choose to focus our lives on and strive to make a living within, we should seek to promote the sport and celebrate its successes.
Finally, the topic of logo similarities within the corporate world is nothing new, as a quick search for ‘similar corporate logos’ on Google or clicking here will reveal. If all these businesses found a way of making things work, its safe to say F1 will do the same.