Mat Coch writes:
The Brabham family has won its legal tussle with Michael Trick, the German who had been selling modified BMW's under the Brabham Racing banner. David Brabham filed a lawsuit against Trick after he refused to cancel the trademark registrations in Germany which made use of the famous name.
"One of the most illustrious names of automotive history has returned," a Brabham Racing media release boasted in 2008. "After numerous successes in Formula One and being dormant for nearly sixteen years, the legendary motor racing brand was re-launched."
Trick had hoped to enter Formula One as 'Brabham Grand Prix' in 2010, though his application was denied in favour of Lotus Racing (now Caterham), Virgin (now Marussia), HRT and the stillborn USGP project.
"It's been a long and tiring battle, but this was something I felt we needed to do to protect the Brabham name," said David Brabham, son of three-time world champion Sir Jack. "I'm delighted that this situation has finally come to an end.
"The global brand stands for success and innovation bolstered from 60 years of racing heritage, and deserves to be protected," he continued. "That respected reputation is built on four Formula 1 drivers' and two constructors' titles, while the legacy has continued with myself, Geoff and Gary, adding two Le Mans victories, two American Le Mans Series titles, four IMSA GTP Championships, F3 and F3000 crowns, plus various national and international accolades across the echelons of the sport.
"This ruling will not only help future plans for the Brabham brand, but also protect the third generation of drivers, in Sam and Matthew, coming up through the ranks."
"I am delighted that the legal action brought against Mr. Trick has been successful and that the rightful transfer and protection of the registered trademark is now complete and back in the family's ownership," added Sir Jack. "David has been tireless in pursuing this action in the interests of the entire family."
Formed in 1961 Brabham became a household name thanks not only due to Jack's on track success, but also as a result of the customer car business, operated by Motor Racing Developments (MRD). A joint venture between Jack Brabham and Ron Tauranac it netted two drivers world championships in 1966 (Brabham) and 1967 (Denny Hulme) and countless victories in lower formulae. Brabham sold his share in MRD and closed his team before Bernie Ecclestone bought the company in 1971. Read our recent article on how the deal almost never happened.
Under Ecclestone's stewardship MRD, competing as Brabham in Formula One, went on to win the 1981 and 1983 drivers world championships with Nelson Piquet before selling the team in 1988. It finally closed its doors in 1992.