Is this the end of “doing a shoey?”

Doing a ‘shoey’ – drinking out of a shoe – is a celebration pioneered in Australia. A recent trademark, however, has been granted to the company that manages licensing for Formula 1, in some key product areas. What’s the story behind this bizarre (and more than a little disgusting) practice and trademark?

Drinking out of a shoe is not something you'd want to do everyday – or perhaps ever. Yet it's an act that's been popularised by, among others, Australian F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo. It's become so popular in fact, that Formula 1s licensing division have successfully trademarked the act – known as a 'shoey'. 

What is a 'shoey'?

If you've never seen one, a shoey can be a strange and disgusting act to witness. The drinker pours their beverage of choice into a shoe (usually one they've just been wearing) and proceeds to take a gulp. Here, for example, is Ricciardo himself preparing for a swig. 

The origins of the shoey aren't exactly clear. An article by Katie Cunningham in the online magazine 'inthemix' failed to trace its origin back much further than 2010 and the earliest person in her trail she spoke to said it predated even him. What does seem clear, however, is that its origin is distinctly Australian. 

What is the 'shoey' trademark for?

The trademark has been filed in 25 countries around the world – including the United States, Germany, the U.K. and Australia. According to IP Australia, the trademark was lodged here in the August of 2017 and was registered in February this year.

It doesn't, however, cover everything. The class of goods in Australia is number 21; things like glassware, porcelain, cups, mugs, coasters etc. Formula 1 was unable to secure the rights to clothing, as that was already trademarked by another company. This means that the act of doing a shoey itself is not now owned by Formula 1 – just the right to put it on a mug.

This is a story that impresses the importance of getting on top of trademarks early. Whether Daniel Ricciardo – let alone any of the other countless athletes that engage in the practice – would have wanted to make shoey merchandise is unclear. But what is undeniable now is that anyone that wants to make cups, mugs or other merchandise of that kind won't be able to. 

Alder IP are experts in all things IP, including trademarks. If you have some IP you want to protect, contact us today for a free consultation.