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Verstappen's clothing brand blocked by global sports giant

Max Verstappen's hopes of launching 'Max 1' have taken a hit after a sportswear giant stepped in to block it.

Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen's hopes of launching his own clothing brand have taken a hit after sportswear giant Nike raised trademark infringement concerns. The two-time champion had hoped to launch 'Max 1' to sell apparel but Nike lodged a complaint, with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property - based in the Netherlands - issuing a report. The basis for Nike's concerns around trademark infringement stems from the similarity in name between Verstappen's 'Max 1' and the company's 'Air Max' shoes.

Verstappen vs Nike

In December 2021, shortly before he claimed his first world title, the Verstappen camp lodged a trademark application with the BOIP for 'Max 1.' However, in February 2022, Nike lodged their trademark infringement case, believing confusion could arise in the general public between 'Max 1' and their own 'Air Max', given both would be competitors in the clothing sector. In February 2023, the BOIP ruled in favour of Nike, agreeing with their case that 'Max 1' infringed on the trademark of 'Air Max' owing to their similar names. However, for Verstappen and 'Max 1', the brand name has been approved by the BOIP for Classes 35 and 41. These are advertising; business management; business administration; administrative services and education; training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities, respectively. As Nike were successful in their case, the Verstappen camp are also liable for €1045 in the US company's legal fees.

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