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Guenther Steiner

Haas retaliate in bitter legal feud with Steiner

After Guenther Steiner recently decided to sue Haas, the company is now taking legal action of its own against its former team principal.

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Guenther Steiner is being sued by Haas Automation in what appears to be a tit-for-tat response after the former team principal launched his own legal action.

It recently emerged that Steiner has taken legal action against his former team, claiming unpaid commissions between 2021 and 2023 as well as the use of his likeness in promotional materials and merchandise. Steiner has alleged that Haas violated its employment agreement.

Less than two weeks later, papers have been filed with the Central District of California, Western Division court, in relation to the publication last year of Steiner's autobiography, 'Driving to Survive'.

The documents allege that Steiner, along with publisher Ten Speed Press, breached trademark rules with the unlawful publication of certain images.

The court submission reads that: “In 2023, without permission or consent from Haas Automation, Steiner authored, marketed, promoted, sold, distributed, and profited from a publication titled 'Surviving to Drive' (the Accused product), which unlawfully used and displayed, and continues to use and display, the Haas Automation Trademarks and the Haas Automation Trade Dress for Steiner’s personal financial gain and illicit profit.

“Haas Automation never consented to Steiner’s use of the Haas Automation Trademarks or the Haas Automation Trade Dress on the Accused Product.”

The document claims that despite giving what it describes as "pre-lawsuit notice" to Steiner to redress the matter, the 59-year-old has so far failed to take action, so "necessitating the instant lawsuit”.

The papers contend that: “Steiner sells and promotes the Accused Product in various mediums, including without limitation print and digital, in violation of Haas Automation’s exclusive intellectual property rights.

“Information available online indicates that as of January 2024, the Accused Product has exceeded sales of at least 150,000 units and generated revenue of at least $4,500,000.”

Haas Automation is seeking substantial damages in relation to the matter, and has additionally requested a trial by jury.

Steiner was the team principal of Haas from its inception in 2014 and oversaw its day-to-day duties when it joined the grid in 2016.

Ahead of the 2024 F1 campaign, however, Haas announced that Steiner would not return to the role and would be replaced by Ayao Komatsu.

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