Whyte wins logo court case with Rich Energy, title sponsor of F1’s Haas team

A Judge has ruled in favour of Whyte Bikes in a court case with Rich Energy – the Haas F1 team title sponsor – over logos.

The case went to court in March, between ATB Sales (the owner of Whyte Bikes) and William Storey (CEO of Rich Energy), StaxoWed (the originator of the infringing Rich Energy logo) and Rich Energy and yesterday (14 May) the judgement found in favour of ATB.

Judge Melissa Clarke found that both Kelly and Storey, representing Defendants Staxoweb and Rich Energy were unreliable witnesses and had lied to the court and had directly and knowingly copied Whyte Bikes’ logo.

Judge Clarke’s damning statement said: “I am satisfied that some of Mr Storey’s evidence was incorrect or misleading and that he was involved in the manufacture of documents during the course of litigation to provide additional support for the Defendants’ case.”

“I do not accept either Mr Storey or Mr Kelly as credible or reliable witnesses and I treat all of their evidence with a high degree of caution.

“I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that both Mr Kelly and Mr Storey have lied about not being familiar with C’s Device (Whyte’s logo). I find it more likely than not that they were familiar with it, and that they directly and knowingly copied C’s Device in designing D1’s Device (Rich Energy’s logo).”

Rich Energy’s logo has therefore been held to infringe the copyright in the Whyte logo, entitling ATB to an injunction and damages or an account of Rich Energy’s profits.

It’s unclear how soon Rich Energy and the F1 Haas team will have to change the logos on the cars – the next F1 race is 26 May in Monaco.