Bernie eyes 'Grand Prix' prize

Bernie Ecclestone, the commercial boss of Formula 1, is making a bold move to head off attempts by car manufacturers to form a breakaway championship by registering the words 'grand prix' and 'British Grand Prix' as trademarks

Bernie eyes 'Grand Prix' prize

The multi-millionaire, who is current waiting the outcome of a court case challenging his ruling of the sport, has applied to the British and European Patent offices in a bid to own the trademark of the names. He has already registered 'Formula 1' and its derivatives to his group of companies.

Should Ecclestone's application be successful it would be a blow to the manufacturer-led Grand Prix World Championship (GPWC), which is hoping to start its own series from the beginning of 2008. Although Ecclestone's move would not scupper the series completely, it would force the organisers to find a new name.

And despite the ongoing uncertainty over the future of the British Grand Prix, Ecclestone is also trying to trademark that name - perhaps in the knowledge that Silverstone has been targeted as a possible GPWC event if it is dropped off the F1 calendar.

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