Nike Blocks F1 Champ Max Verstappen’s ‘Max 1’ Clothing Brand
The F1 champ took Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan a bit too literally by launching an apparel company that sounds awfully similar.
Red Bull Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen is finding little opposition on the F1 grid nowadays, but unfortunately for the young champ, that hasn't carried over into his business ventures. According to a report from Dutch news outlet De Limburger, shoe giant Nike has put the kibosh on Verstappen's Max 1 clothing line.
Nike's argument is that Max 1 is too similar to its longtime "Air Max" shoe line, including other "Max Force 1" products and other variations that include similar keywords. Verstappen had named his line of products after himself and his current racing number but encountered legal trouble soon after launch.
The Benelux Office for Intellectual Property—essentially The Netherlands' trademark office—issued a report that Verstappen's Max 1 brand carried a "likelihood of confusion" and posed a risk of consumers believing Max 1 products were associated with Nike.
Nike went as far as claiming that some designs in the Max 1 catalog were too similar to the apparel giant's, while also alleging that the word MAX was prominently used and likened to Nike apparel. For these reasons, Verstappen was reportedly fined approximately $1,100 according to Express.
Perhaps Verstappen could rename his brand "If You're Not First You're Last." Then again, Columbia Pictures might come knockin'.
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