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Spa May Try to Block Infiniti Eau Rouge trademark

On November 4, the U.S. Patent Office will open up Nissan's trademark application for complaints and the race track from which the Eau Rouge takes its name will likely contest the filing.


The director of the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit for Formula 1 has told news outlets that he plans to contest the trademark filing Nissan has undertaken for the "Eau Rouge" name. The Eau Rouge takes its name from one of the toughest turns on the circuit, but Pierre-Alain Thibaut of Spa says that the name is not Nissan's to use.

"It's like they want to steal the brand from the circuit," he said in a Bloomberg interview. This is interesting since the trademark application in the European Union was pushed through without complaint.

The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge debuted with a lot of excitement and though Infiniti has not officially said whether or not they'll be building the car, it's obvious to anyone looking on that they clearly plan to go to production. The Q50 Eau Rouge is a beautiful Q50 sedan with F1-inspired additions and handling improvements that is powered by the same muscular monster that flies Godzilla, the GT-R.

Most of the marketing behind the car has been heavily vested in the "Eau Rouge" name. If the concept were pursued to production, the name could change, of course - it's not unprecedented - but the huge amount of marketing already done on the car based on the Eau Rouge name would be lost. This, of course, is the obvious reason behind Nissan pursuing the trademarks.

Does Spa have a point? Is using the most famous corner on their circuit as a car's name infringing on their own brand as a race circuit? What do you think? Chime in below.