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Haas sues Guenther Steiner for alleged trademark infringement, days after former F1 team principal files lawsuit

Haas Automation, the sponsor of the Formula 1 team owned by Gene Haas, is suing Guenther Steiner and his publisher, Ten Speed ​​Press, for alleged trademark infringement.

The lawsuit was filed in the Central District of California (Western Division) on May 3, just days after Steiner filed a lawsuit against Haas Formula, LLC for alleged unpaid commissions and unauthorized use of his likeness.

According to a copy of Haas Automation’s lawsuit, “In 2023, without the authorization or consent of Haas Automation, Steiner wrote, marketed, promoted, sold, distributed, and profited from a publication entitled “Surviving to Drive” (the “accused product”). , who has illegally used and displayed, and continues to use and display, the Haas Automation trademarks and Haas Automation trade dress for the personal financial gain and illicit profit of Steiner.

Haas Automation declares that it has not consented to the use of these marks. According to the document, Haas Automation raised its concerns with Steiner before taking legal action, but the former team principal “did not take any steps to stop or mitigate his infringing acts, which which necessitated immediate legal action.” Based on information gathered online by attorneys, Steiner’s book, “Surviving to Drive,” generated at least $4.5 million in revenue and sold at least 150,000 copies, according to the filing .

Steiner, however, is not the only party that Haas Automation accuses of being at fault. According to the document, its publisher knew that Haas Automation is “the exclusive owner of the Haas Automation trademarks and the Haas Automation trade dress, but they never requested or obtained any permission, license, consent or authorization from of any kind from Haas Automation. copy, use and display, for commercial purposes, any of the Haas Automation trademarks or Haas Automation trade dress.

The Haas Formula 1 team declined to comment.

Readers can still purchase Steiner’s book through digital and physical retailers. The four claims for relief include trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, false designation of origin, and California common law unfair trade practices. The file includes images taken from the book (including the cover) and an exhibit showing which symbols are trademarked by the company and when.

Haas Automation is seeking damages and has requested a jury trial.

Steiner was Haas team manager from 2014, but the two parties mutually decided not to renew his contract during the offseason. Since then, he has remained a visible figure in the paddock.

Required reading

(Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)