Haas With Revenge After Being Sued By Steiner: Sues Back

Monday, 13 May 2024 at 12:00
steiner guenther haas3 latphoto
Guenther Steiner (former Haas team principal) is now being sued by his ex-F1 team for alleged "Surviving to Drive" infringements.
It is safe to say that if there weren't Guenther Steiner, Haas wouldn't be on the F1 grid today. Although he isn't the owner of the team, he is the one who convinced Gene Haas to put in his money.
He also recruited key personnel at the beginning and established collaboration with Ferrari, which provides essential components (such as power units and more) for Haas cars until today.
Over the years, though, Steiner wasn't able to grow the team further, and Haas struggled at the back of the grid for a while now, so Gene Haas decided it was time not to prolong his contract.
It was suggested there was friction in the departure of the 59-year-old team principal, and it was confirmed about two weeks ago (on the 1st of May) when Steiner filed a case against his former team.
The Italian-American sued Haas for selling merchandise with his likeness or image even after his departure, for which he neither gave consent nor received any commissions.
When filing a case against his former team, the ex-team principal probably didn't expect Haas to respond with another lawsuit against him.
However, two weeks later, the American team's parent company, Haas Automation, launched a lawsuit against him in the Central District of California, Western Division for alleged trademark infringements in his “Surviving to Drive” autobiography. The document read:

"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."

This lawsuit is based on a similar case to the Steiner's: selling a product with something belonging to the other party without its consent. Haas claims they contacted Steiner but has not received a response.

"Haas Automation gave pre-lawsuit notice to Steiner but to date Steiner has taken no action to cease or mitigate his infringing acts, necessitating the instant lawsuit,” the papers added."

The former team principal keeps selling his autobiography, and Haas claims that based on figures available online, "Surviving to Drive" generated at least $4,500,000.

"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."