Nike believe that proposed name is too close to their own famous “Air Max” brand, De Limburger  report.

A “roadblock” has therefore been put in Verstappen’s way as he attempts to crack the apparel market, the report says.

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The Benelux Office for Intellectual Property, the trademark agency, said: “Both signs contain the word MAX, albeit in a different place. In the trademarks invoked, the elements AIR and MAX have equal weight in the overall impression. In the contested sign, the emphasis is on the word MAX. The number 1 will be regarded as a specification of MAX. To that extent the signs agree.

“The goods in question (Nike and Max) are partly identical and partly similar. Visually and aurally, there is a certain degree of similarity between the signs.

“Based on these and the other factors mentioned above and given their interdependence, the Office considers that there is a likelihood of confusion in the sense that the public may believe that the goods covered by the trade marks invoked and those of the contested sign belong to the same undertaking or, as the case may be, from economically linked companies.

“Since it is common practice in the clothing sector for the same mark to be configured in different ways, the relevant public might also think that the contested sign is a sub-mark of the opponent (Nike).”

Verstappen will return to his day job at next weekend’s F1 Australian Grand Prix.