Haas retaliate in bitter legal feud with Steiner

Guenther Steiner has been sued by Haas Automation in what appears to be a backlash after the former team principal launched his own legal action.

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

Less than two weeks later, papers were filed with the Central District Court of California, Western District Court, in connection with the publication last year of Steiner's autobiography, “Driving to Survive.”

The documents allege that Steiner, in cooperation with publisher Ten Speed ​​Press, violated trademark rules by illegally publishing certain images.

The court filing said: “In 2023, without the permission or approval of Haas Automation, Steiner authored, marketed, promoted, sold, distributed and profited from a publication entitled ‘Surviving to Drive’ (the accused product), which unlawfully used and displayed trademarks.” of Haas Automation and Haas Automation Trade Dress, and continues to use and display them for Steiner's personal financial gain and ill-gotten gains.

“Haas Automation never approved Steiner’s use of Haas Automation trademarks or Haas Automation trade dress on the accused product.”

The document alleges that despite giving what it describes as “pre-lawsuit notice” to Steiner to address the matter, the 59-year-old has so far failed to take action, “necessitating an immediate lawsuit.”

The papers assert that: “Steiner sells and promotes the accused product in various media, including, but not limited to, print and digital, in violation of Haas Automation’s exclusive intellectual property rights.

“Online information indicates that as of January 2024, the accused product had sales of at least 150,000 units and generated revenue of at least $4,500,000.”

Haas Automation is seeking significant damages in connection with this matter and has also requested a jury trial.

Steiner has been team principal at Haas since its inception in 2014 and oversaw its day-to-day duties when it joined the grid in 2016.

However, before the start of the 2024 Formula 1 season, Haas announced that Steiner would not return to the position and would be replaced by Ayo Komatsu.


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