Ron Walker = Tool
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts gti138's Avatar
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    Default Ron Walker = Tool

    I'm not sure who Ron Walker thinks he is but getting the Victorian Taxpayers to fund this little adventure is well... stupid




    Quote Originally Posted by grandprix.com
    Legal trouble Down Under

    Australia this weekend hosts the fourth round of the A1 Grand Prix series in the face of an attempt to stop it using the term Grand Prix by the organisers of the country's Formula 1 race.

    Australia's A1 franchise holder, Alan Jones, told Australian radio this afternoon that a writ had been served on A1 in the run up to the race at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway. Ironically Jones is Australia's most recent F1 World Champion, in 1980, and was for many years a member of the board of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation which is trying to prevent A1 associating itself with the words "Grand Prix".

    Jones said the writ was "a bit of a shame" and added that "I can't see how anyone has a stranglehold on the use of the term 'grand prix'. It is a pretty generic term. It just means big prize. We're not trying to detract from the Melbourne Grand Prix. I don't see what the hassle is."

    Australian GP Corporation chairman Ron Walker said in late September that he had authorised proceedings to begin as a result of a breakdown inĉ talks in London with A1's lawyers, although nothing more has been heard publicly from the corporation since. It claimed in its September statement that "A1's use of the phrase 'A1 Grand Prix' infringes the corporation's intellectual property rights.ĉAccordingly AGPC has instructed its lawyers to commence proceedings to protect these rights."

    Australia's drivers this weekend are Will Davison, a one-time British Formula Renault and Formula Three racer who has been an ambassador for the AGPC for several years, and Christian Jones, son of Alan and last year's Asian F3 champion.

    The best result so far for Australia in the A1 series was a second place by Will Power, another AGPC ambassador who has since landed a drive in Champ Car racing.

    Given that the Formula One group does not even have trademark rights on the term 'Formula 1' or even 'Formula One' (beyond claiming them) the attempt to protect 'Grand Prix' must be seen as a supreme piece of wishful thinking, which will be paid for by the tax payers of Victoria.

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    Formula One Licensing (FOL), the intellectual property arm of the Formula One empire, has tried to trademark names in an effort to create a well-organised brand for the sport. Although there is some limited trademarking on the expression 'FIA Formula One World Championship' there are endless disputes over F1 and Formula 1. The World Intellectual Property Organisation, however, has said that FOL has yet to prove its claims to control wider use of F1 and Formula 1. This has not stopped FOL hassling those who use F1 and trying to begin a campaign to win 'Grand Prix' as well.

    For the record, the first recognised use of the phrase 'Grand Prix' came in 1721 when the French Academie des Sciences inaugurated a system of academic prizes which played an important role in the development of mathematics and other scientific disciplines. The first application of the expression in sport was in 1805 when there was a horse race in Paris called the Grand Prix de Paris. The term Grand Prix was used regularly in horse racing from the middle of the nineteenth century, notably at Pau and in Paris where there has been a Grand Prix since 1863. The first attempt at an automobile was Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot's steam vehicle of 1771, 50 years too late to be of any real use to FOL's lawyers and it is arguable whether this huge agricultural piece of machinery can really be equated with the F1 cars of the modern era, even by imaginative legal brains. The first use of the phrase 'Grand Prix' in relation to automobiles was not until 1901 when the town of Pau borrowed the title of its horse race for a series of motoring challenges. It was then adopted by the Automobile Club de France in 1906 for the first Grand Prix race at Le Mans.
    Murray : And there are flames coming from the back of Prost's car as he enters the swimming pool!
    James Hunt: Well that should put them out then!


    Mallala: 1:30.79





  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! 306XT's Avatar
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    he's a good friend of Bernie E, so go figure, but it still doesnt make sense.
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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts gti138's Avatar
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    It's funny that no-one tried this with the A1 races so far in the UK, Germany & Portugal. I guess they just didnt feel it was that important.

    I'm pretty sure that the athletics championships each year are called the "grand prix" series - they had better watch out! They could be next!
    Murray : And there are flames coming from the back of Prost's car as he enters the swimming pool!
    James Hunt: Well that should put them out then!


    Mallala: 1:30.79





  4. #4
    1000+ Posts n b j's Avatar
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    Yeah GTI138, I agree with pretty much everything you say when it's regarding A1 and Formula1.

    Ron Walker is a tool, I guess he is just trying to protect the Grand Prix name since he runs the "Australian Grand Prix Corporation"

    meh go figure, maybe A1GP is too close to AGPC ???

    tool

    On another note who's going to the A1GP this weekend in Sydney? I will be there on Sunday. Unfortunately Will Power won't be driving, but hopefully Will Davidson does all the driving this weekend and we don't se head nor hide of Christain jones. But I think you already no my opinion on the Team Australia driver selection

    so any1 else going?
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  5. #5
    1000+ Posts U Turn's Avatar
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    Yep agreed, he's a tool. It's ridiculous trying to copyright such a generic term which he didn't even come up with. I hope the judges see reason.
    Take the long way home....

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  6. #6
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    I reckon Ron Walker is a legend. But I live in Melbourne, so thats okay.

    The negotiations were in the UK. Why they decided to sue them here in Australia, I'm not sure. But I doubt this is all some conspiracy being run by Ron Walker.

    I'd like more details of the assertion in the article that the taxpayers of Victoria are funding this case as well. Unless there are cases like this happening in every country that hosts both events, I don't see how its fair.

    Maybe its a case of quid-pro-quo for us shifting the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne due to the Commonwealth Games clash?

    This legal battle was inevitable, but I'm not sure why its happening here, as you guys have said.

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger! 307FELINE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n b j
    Yeah GTI138, I agree with pretty much everything you say when it's regarding A1 and Formula1.

    Ron Walker is a tool, I guess he is just trying to protect the Grand Prix name since he runs the "Australian Grand Prix Corporation"

    meh go figure, maybe A1GP is too close to AGPC ???

    tool

    On another note who's going to the A1GP this weekend in Sydney? I will be there on Sunday. Unfortunately Will Power won't be driving, but hopefully Will Davidson does all the driving this weekend and we don't se head nor hide of Christain jones. But I think you already no my opinion on the Team Australia driver selection

    so any1 else going?
    I'll do my best to be there
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  8. #8
    1000+ Posts The Gonz's Avatar
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    Default Tool

    I'll vote TOOL.

    Years ago before he was Mr Grand Prix he was our neighbour and he wasn't shy about using his business, lawyers and frequent chemical spills to try to get us to sell him our land. We didn't and he eventually moved on but not before showing his true colours in the process - just another rich cronie always out to make a buck with little regard for the community.

    'Nuff said.

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts U Turn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Gonz
    I'll vote TOOL.

    Years ago before he was Mr Grand Prix he was our neighbour and he wasn't shy about using his business, lawyers and frequent chemical spills to try to get us to sell him our land. We didn't and he eventually moved on but not before showing his true colours in the process - just another rich cronie always out to make a buck with little regard for the community.

    'Nuff said.
    After reading that I want to upgrade my vote to Super Tool. The nerve, trying to claim ownership on the term "grand prix". I still can't get over it.

    Not all rich people are like that, but every day I have to deal with arrogant rich people that are used to getting their way.
    Take the long way home....

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  10. #10
    1000+ Posts gti138's Avatar
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    I'd like to upgrade my classification from tool to useless tool.

    Oh and btw - this has nothing to do with adelaide - melb grand prix rivalry...
    Murray : And there are flames coming from the back of Prost's car as he enters the swimming pool!
    James Hunt: Well that should put them out then!


    Mallala: 1:30.79





  11. #11
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    Default Ron Walker A1GP

    A tool is something useful.
    ergo, Ron Walker is not a tool.

    This legal spat could be useful as it might provide some publicity to a fledegling / ailing series that has so far underwhelmed the media. I'm interested and would like to see it work, (without AJ's son as a steerer).

    Ther is little cohesive coverage of the series. ie day of week, time of day, same channel, you know - a regular schedule! Even the Internet motorsport links were more than two hours behind the Eastern Creek action today. (No, I don't want to know why they are racing at one of the least inspiring tracks in this country). Soon they will be racing at Laguna Seca. Wow! Will FTA TV show us this?

    Methinks we'll be the last to know.

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts gti138's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M
    Ther is little cohesive coverage of the series. ie day of week, time of day, same channel, you know - a regular schedule! Even the Internet motorsport links were more than two hours behind the Eastern Creek action today. (No, I don't want to know why they are racing at one of the least inspiring tracks in this country). Soon they will be racing at Laguna Seca. Wow! Will FTA TV show us this?

    Methinks we'll be the last to know.
    If you have foxtel or austar it's always on live The racing is generally worth watching too!
    Murray : And there are flames coming from the back of Prost's car as he enters the swimming pool!
    James Hunt: Well that should put them out then!


    Mallala: 1:30.79





  13. #13
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    Too bad this site is 'G' Rated
    I am dissatisfied with his actions & think is is just detrimental to the sport.

    I am ashamed & embarrased to be Australian with him being "our voice"...

  14. #14
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    Firstly, Ron Walker is taking this up on behalf of the whole F1 empire vs A1. He has been in constant talks with Bernie, and it was decided that the Australian Grand Prix probably had the best case against the A1 Grand Prix.

    Secondly, if you don't think that Formula 1 has a monopoly on the term Grand Prix, then simply ask yourself these questions:

    - Why would Sheik Maktoum Hasher Maktoum al Maktoum of the UAE decide that he would call his servies a GP series? Why?
    - Why is it promoted as the A1 GP rather than A1 Grand Prix of Nations (which it is actually called)
    - When someone says they watched the GP, what do you think they are talking about, F1 or A1?

    Forumla 1 have spent a fortune building the Grand Prix name over generations. Obviously A1 is looking to free-ride off that, and gain credibility for its own series (does anyone NOT believe this? even if you think IP law should be junked?). Personally I could'nt really care less if they used the GP name. But I'm not surprised that Bernie (and friends) DO care, since they stand to lose money from it!

    The Victorian taxpayers spend a fortune subsidising the Grand Prix here in Melbourne, which in itself is cententious. But I do not think its unreasonable for the Victorian government (through Ron Walker) to try and protect that investment.

    We have Ron Walker to thank/blame for the GP in Melbourne, the Commonwealth games, etc etc. If you don't like those events, fine. But at least he is doing something for the state of Victoria, unlike other squillionaire recluses like, say, Solomon Lew. **- Not that I know much about Lew other than his shifty business with Coles Myer...

  15. #15
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    Hmm, you might be onto something there Tim, although I am surprised Bernie didn't take it up himself. Perhaps it is something to do with laws in Australia?

    I don't think there is any issue of confusion between the A1 & F1 races, being so separated in the year, and also A1GP is always referred to with the A1 terminology as far as I have seen.

    I hope they are not wasting Vic taxpayer money on this!

  16. #16
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    I agree John, I also hope they are not wasting our $$$, but given what were used to here in Victoria........

    I was a bit shocked at how many A1 races were on at the same time as F1 races actually. Far from being an off-season, it started too early. I think there were 3 clashes were'nt there? Anyway, I think the idea behind A1 is awesome, I would'nt be so quick as some others to defend their choice of name though, thats all.

    It could well be possible that Australian IP law would represent a lower hurdle than some other places. But from what I gather they are very similar here and in the UK. But there may be specifics within the registered names here that F1 and A1 are using that may be more easily confused than races elsewhere. Easier for lawyers to demonstrate anyway

    I'll look into this, a relative is big into to IP law here, so I'll see what he has to say.

  17. #17
    Fellow Frogger! vanderaj's Avatar
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    I am against public subsidies of any sort - if a "sport" needs subsidies, it does not deserve to exist.

    I find it offensive that my money is being used to fight someone else's commercial legal battle. If Ron Walker wins a judgement, the money better be paid back to us rather than entered into Bernie's deep pockets. If he loses, F1 should pony up the cash - they can more than afford it.

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    Fellow Frogger! Andreas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergetov
    I reckon Ron Walker is a legend. But I live in Melbourne, so thats okay.
    I'm with you on this one, what he has done for Melbourne and Australia, voluntarily I might add, far outweighs what you're whining about, be it right or wrong.

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