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Ford and Ferrari battle over the F150 name

Ferrari announced yesterday that it will carry on with the name “Ferrari F150th Italia” Formula One car even after Ford Motor Corp. has filed a lawsuit against the legendary Italian automaker specifically over the use of the abbreviation “F150”.

According to the Ford camp, Ferrari’s F150 logo looks too similar to Ford’s F150 pick-up truck.  And even if you’re not a diehard car enthusiast, you should probably know that the Ford F150 is one of the top selling vehicles in the US.  The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court in Detroit last Wednesday.  As of yet, Ford claims that it had not received the formal notification of Ferrari’s plans.

Ford’s main contention, as stated in the formal complaint, is that “Ferrari has misappropriated the F-150 trademark in naming its new racing vehicle the “F150” in order to capitalize on and profit from the substantial goodwill that Ford has developed in the F-150 trademark”.

Moreover, Ford has asked the court to prohibit Ferrari from using the F150 name.  They are also seeking unspecified damages, in addition to $100,000 for violating the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.

Ferrari, meanwhile, stated that it is difficult to fully comprehend Ford’s viewpoint.  They claim that their car for this season’s F1 world championship was made so in celebration of 150 years of Italian unity, and more so, it is not commercially available.  They believe that the “Ferrari F150th Italia” cannot be confused with any other type of commercial vehicle in the slightest.  They also believe that it is very difficult to establish a connection between its F1 championship contender and any road-going branded vehicle.  Nonetheless, in order to further demonstrate good faith, Ferrari has decided that all abbreviated

versions will be replaced with the full name version “Ferrari F150th Italia”.

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