Ricciardo caught in middle of legal dispute over the 'Shoey'
FORMULA 1 has sensationally attempted to hijack the commercial rights to Daniel Ricciardo's "Shoey" celebration.
The iconic Aussie celebration went global after Ricciardo followed Aussie MotoGP star Jack Miller in drinking out of his own sweaty boot while celebrating a podium grand prix finish.
The "Shoey" concept proved so popular with the global audience that Formula 1 last year took the extraordinary step of registering a "Shoey" trademark with the World Intellectual Property Organisation, according to The Independent.
The report claims Formula 1 was able to trademark the term on August 24, 2017 in the key commercial product field, which includes figurines, mugs, glasses, bottles and flasks.
However, the sporting giant was knocked back from also trying to trademark the term for use in commercial clothing production.
Formula 1's commercial arm was denied because the trademark had already been registered by the original architects behind the phrase - Aussie cult surfing figures Joel Scott, Damon Nichols, Shaun Harrington and Dean Harrington, the brains behind The Mad Hueys empire.
Korinne Harrington, a relative of The Mad Hueys founders, was reportedly the first person to register the "Shoeys" trademark.
The Mad Hueys are credited with bringing the ancient Aussie icon back into fashion during their surfing and fishing adventure video clips dating back to 2003.
Despite Harrington's earlier trademark, Formula 1's rival trademark has been registered across 25 countries, including Australia, the US, Germany, Italy, France and the UK.
The huge commercial potential of the trademark has left Ricciardo in the incredibly awkward position of being a Formula 1 driver and a friend of The Mad Huey group.
The Huey empire has grown to include clothing lines, its own craft beer and a merchandise factory based in Burleigh Heads, on the Gold Coast.
The company has also made a push into the US in recent years.
However, they remain the small Aussie battler in a legal battle with a global giant in Formula 1.
Formula 1's trademark could stop the Queensland company from trying to sell merchandise with its own slogan printed on it.
The Mad Hueys were the catalyst for the humble "Shoey" making it onto the world stage.
The Queensland group's friendship with Miller resulted in the MotoGP star downing champagne from his own shoe after he won his first MotoGP race in 2016.
The Harrington brothers told Stab Magazine in 2016 that they couldn't pinpoint the moment they started doing "Shoeys" and also don't know what inspired it.
"The Shoey was handed down to us by our ancestors back in 1985 when I was born. And we're keeping the tradition alive," one of the Harrington twins said.
"It's pretty much just gone ham again now with Jack Miller starting it off. I went to the MotoGP and I was sitting with his mum and she goes, 'Oi, Jack wants to meet ya'.
"So we went to his little mobile caravan thing at Phillip Island in the pits and I just got dead nude and jumped into his race gear and started doing shoeys and s--- and then I dunno, he just said to us the next time he gets on the podium he's gonna do a 'Shoey', so he ended up winning and the rest is history.
"From there it went on to Daniel Ricciardo. I was so proud of him. Skolled it like a true champion, after doing a race a couple of hours long and all that sweat in there building up - it was a bit watered down but you gotta respect it."
It remains to be seen how the Shoey's founding fathers feel about their move now being part-owned by Liberty Media, the American company that took ownership of Formula 1 in 2016 in a whopping $4.6 billion deal.