Haas Sues Former Team Principal Guenther Steiner Amid Already Being Sued By Steiner

JEDDAH STREET CIRCUIT, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 16: Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team during the Saudi Arabian GP at Jeddah Street Circuit on Thursday March 16, 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Andy Hone / LAT Images)
JEDDAH STREET CIRCUIT, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 16: Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team during the Saudi Arabian GP at Jeddah Street Circuit on Thursday March 16, 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Andy Hone / LAT Images)

At the start of May, news emerged that Guenther Steiner is taking his former employer to court, demanding Haas F1 Team to pay him for commissions that he claimed were owed for several years, as well as not giving him any royalties from the continued use of his image and brand without authorization. Now, the American team seems to reply with their own lawsuit against the ex team principal.

The issue is trademark infringement, the official court papers saying: “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.”

According to the statements made in the court papers, Steiner was aware of their concerns, yet did not give Haas a satisfactory response nor address the matter.

“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.”

“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.”

All this follows the unexpected and sudden parting of ways between Steiner and Haas F1 Team at the start of this year, before the Formula 1 2024 season could begin. The company decided not to renew his contract, and the Italian-American didn’t seem too keen to fight for his high-stress spot as the lead of a team that wasn’t very successful in the past few years.

Steiner was replaced by Ayao Komatsu, a 48 years old Japanese engineer who has previously managed Haas’ engineering department as Chief Race Engineer and subsequently Director of Engineering.

As of the court case, Haas has now requested a jury trial over the matter. The legal actions will take place in California, while Steiner filed his lawsuit in North Carolina.

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