Update 2: Ford Sues Ferrari Over F150 Name

F150vf-150-560

Update 2: Feb-10-2011 7:17am

Ferrari appears to have changed its mind about the name of its latest F1 race car after threat of a lawsuit yesterday by Ford.

The Ferrari F150 is now being referred to as the Ferrari F150th Italia on a Ferrari website.

A statement from Ferrari read: "On the subject of the name of the new Ferrari Formula 1 car, the Maranello company wishes to point out that it has sent a letter of reply to Ford, underlining the fact that the F150 designation (used as the abbreviated version of the complete name, which is Ferrari F150th Italia) never has, nor ever will be used as the name of a commercially available product – indeed there will definitely not be a production run of single-seaters...Ferrari has decided to ensure that in all areas of operation, the abbreviated version will be replaced at all times with the full version, Ferrari F150 th Italia."

----

Ford filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking a court for an injunction against Ferrari over the use of the F150 name for Ferrari's latest Formula 1 racecar, the automaker said.

"F-150® is an established and important Ford trademark and the name of the best-seller in Ford’s F-Series, America’s best-selling trucks for 34 years and best-selling vehicles for 29 years," Ford said in a statement Wednesday. "Through extensive sales and advertising and exclusive use, Ford has earned invaluable goodwill in the F-150® trademark. That hard-won goodwill is seriously threatened by Ferrari’s adoption of 'F150'."

Indeed, Ford claims, "when Ferrari announced the name of its race car as 'F150', Ford asked Ferrari to change the name. Ferrari did not respond in a timely manner, leaving Ford no choice but to take legal action to protect its important brand and trademark rights," the automaker said in a statement this afternoon.

The Italian sports car maker chose the F150 name to pay tribute to this year's 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, but it's also the well-known and longtime name of Ford's half-ton pickup truck, ­ the best-selling vehicle in Ford's U.S. lineup.

We've asked Ferrari for comment, but have not yet heard back.

Editor's note: We've updated this post to reflect the filing of the lawsuit.

Comments

This is a very common occurance for all the popular brands. Harley Davidson is very protective of its name and trademarks.
I read that Microsoft once sued a computer geek who's name was Mike Rowe. His business was "Mike Rowe Software".
To close for comfort for the big guys.

Maybe GMC could sue the next guy that calls them Government Motor Company?

Oh No.
Better call a lawyer. LOL


Fiat owns Ferarri

Fiat ownd Chrysler/Ram/Jeep

Ford sues Ferrari over the F150 name.

Coincidence?

I think this was just plan stupid on Ferraris part.

Fiat aka Ram Trucks knew what they were doing and thought they could steal Ford's name. I hope Ford teaches them a lesson and this costs them big time.

This should be thrown out of court. No one will mistake a track race car not available to the public for a pickup truck. Fiat did not sue Ford over using the "Five Hundred" name a few years ago (and could have, using the same logic) because no one would mistake the Fiat 500 for the Ford Five Hundred since they were not sold in the same markets.

Very interesting and props to lou for noticing the chain link.

@Lou,

Ford is going to beat Ferrari as the Ford GT did at LeMans.

One of the elements you have to prove in a trademark infringement case is that the use will result in confusion in the marketplace.

Funny, I'm having just a little difficulty seeing how Ferrari's use of the F150 moniker for an Italian, multi-million dollar, purpose-built F1 racing car that is not commercially marketed/available to the public and cannot be driven on public roads will cause the public to be confused with the millions of pick up trucks that Ford will be producing for the unwashed masses to throw their crap in.

If anything, Ford probably gest a positive net outcome being mentioned in the same breath as Ferrari. Maybe Ferrari should send Ford a bill!!!

If Ford does not sue, maybe they could add the number of F150's Ferrari's sold to the total of F150's sold to up thier count :)

Click on the link to see who will come out on top

http://www.autoblog.com/2011/01/31/video-this-is-not-how-you-make-a-ferrari-f150/7

Ford first used the 500 name for the Fairlane and Galaxie back in the 50's. F-150 is a blantant rip off. Respect property rights.

@Dave, preeeeety sure Ferrari won't be selling any of their Formula 1 racecars that are constantly evolving and worth millions of dollars apiece

Hey, maybe Ford can claim they won the F1 world championship.

Yeah, but will it burn?

how many cars have a GT in the name?

You have to be a fool or looking for a fight to use a major company's product name for anything of your own. And to name a similar product (both vehicales) and use a similar font is nothing short of stupid. If I remember right, Beretta gun company sued Chevy years ago for naming thier car Beretta.
What if Ford named their next car Pepsi? Obviously there is no product confusion there, but would it fly? No way.

Well, the F150 is to do with the unification of italy, not a crappy American pickup truck.

@CourtTrip: When was the original Fiat 500 launched? 1957...

No one is going to mistake the worlds favourite F1 car for a pick-up truck. The F150 is a technological stone-age relic compared to the F1 car.

F150 is only its code name; no one will know that name anyway!

Oh great... now all the tuners will be stealing the F150 badges off of ford trucks!!!

Fairlane 500 was launched in 1956 = where the name evokes from, not Fiat. In this country we respect property rights. In China and Italy they do otherwise.

I believe that the Toyota Tundra's original name was to have been "T-150" since they already had the T-100 pickup. Rumor has it that Ford put a stop to that due to the similarity of the name to the F-150. Actually the original Tundra bore a strong resemblance to the 1997-2003 F-150.

We didn't bail out Ford. That was GM.

Yeah Ford wasn't bailed out. It's still stupid, Ferrari won't be selling this car and it's only for a year - get over it Ford.

Ford has to protect its trademark, but the action will be thrown out of court. Why?: A F1 car and a Pickup cannot be confused; Ferrari F150 named in celebration of the Italian Unification under Garibaldi(Think US Bicentennial celebrations, big event for them) F150 was a codename used for a Racing car, not a production vehicle.
Who wins? Ford and Fiat, both get publicity on the Issue.

that is RIDICULOUS to think someone will confuse an american market pickup for an Italian circuit race car! shame on Ford, thats PATHETIC. You have to be completely without any IQ to confuse the 2. your talking about a handful of CARS for a racetrack. WOW what a shallow world we live in.

Ford and Ferrari have a history of competition.
Remember Le Mans?
Shelby SC Cobra's and then the GT40?
It is not surprising that Ford would take a shot at Ferrari.
I doubt that this legal action will fly.
THe F150 is North American - how many Europeans know what an F150 is?
How many North Americans follow Formula 1?


I'm surprised to think anyone would be surprised that Ford would react this way! Especially Ferrari. What do they think Ford is going to do? Say "Sure, feel free to use the name!" Who cares if there are actual product differences? What if Nissan brings out a mini van called the Corvette? Or Nestle brings out a new Coffee product called Pepsi? Hemi, do you honestly think just because the products are not the same that a company can use other another's trademark? Seriously, think about it!

The performance of the Ford F-150, with the 3.5L EcoBoost motor, and a Ferrari F150 F1 could possibly confuse the public? The Ferrari F150 would undoubtedly be faster on a road course...but the Ford F-150 with EcoBoost would give the Ferrari a run for it's money on a drag strip.

Good job Ford...protect what is yours!

@lou exactly. Factor in as well it is a codename for non -saleable racing car. Trying to sue companies over codenames used for vehicles being developed, as against the actual production name of the vehicle, there would be lawsuits everywhere.

@Buy American unless the Ecoboost can run a 8 second quarter in stock trim.
This action by Ford will be a win win for them and Fiat as far as publicity goes but thrown out court.

Just a code name? That is the name! and it even created a website for it.
http://www.ferrarif150.com

Educate yourself....

Ford sues Ferrari over F-150 name
Robert Snell / The Detroit News

Detroit— Ford Motor Co. sued luxury automaker Ferrari in federal court today, accusing the exotic sports car company of cybersquatting and trademark infringement for allegedly misappropriating the famous F-150 name.

The lawsuit stems from Ferrari naming its new Formula 1 racing car the "F150," and creating a Web site www.ferrarif150.com, according to paperwork filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Ford has suffered irreparable harm to its F-150 trademark, the lawsuit says, and the Dearborn automaker's legal team wants a judge to block Ferrari from using the trademark in the U.S. That includes importing, manufacturing or selling any producing that uses the F-150 name.

Ford also wants unspecified damages and for Ferrari to give up any revenue and profits earned in the U.S. through the use of the F-150 name, according to the lawsuit filed by Southfield lawyer Marc Lorelli. And Ford wants $100,000 in damages pursuant to the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, which protects against Internet domain names that confuse the public over the true source of products and services.

Ford has used the F-150 name on its flagship, full-size pickup trucks since the 1975 model year.

"This is an important trademark for us and we've spent many years and lots of advertising resources on establishing this name and getting the trademark," Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari said. "It's one we take very very seriously. It's one of our flagship vehicles."

The automaker obtained a trademark registration for F-150 in 1995, according to the lawsuit. Since 1997, gross revenues for the F-150 have topped $180 billion.

The lawsuit comes days after Ferrari announced it was naming the new Formula 1 race car the "F150," which is a nod to the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, according to the automaker's website.

"When Ferrari announced the name of its race car as 'F150,' Ford asked Ferrari to change the name," Gattari said. "Ferrari did not respond in a timely manner, leaving Ford no choice but to take legal action to protect its important brand and trademark rights."

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110209/AUTO01/102090431/Ford-sues-Ferrari-over-F-150-name#ixzz1DVLK9pHO

@ DN - thanks for the post.

F150 branded products = 180 billion in sales.

I don't blame Ford for being agressive.

This is all about defending a trademark. Look at what happened to Jeep. They let the seven-slot grille slip away and Hummer came in and was able to use it. If I were Ford, I'd do the same thing.

@ "P" - Ford is protecting their investment. GM could learn a thing or two from Ford in that regard.

Take a look at Ferrari's website http://www.ferrarif150.com

It is a very blatant run at the F150 name.

When Ford wins - they could end up owning Fiat ;)

the only way that ferrari might have a chance is that the f1 name doesnt have a - in it. the articles makes it more clear that they dont want f150 shirts sold in the us.

@P - Ford is at what again?

@bobsled, the hyphen is only relevant to the logo, not the name.

@lou that is a sweet thought!

Again, Ford will win this like they did at LeMans with the Ford GT.

Sorry but how stupid does Ford get??? Do they really think any potential F-150 buyer could get misleaded by the F1 car?? I doubt 99% of Ford´s F-150 drivers even know about the actual Ferrari F1 car...

@GMC Driver - I can't see Ferrari copying GM or Chev.
A prancing horse with a bowtie around it's neck would look incredibly lame.

Lol @ Lou

I bet if Ferrari copied (INSERT YOUR FAV BRAND HERE) y'all won't be saying the same.

Bunch of babies on this site.

Ford should sue GM for using the name Sierra too. :)

Raptor, where have I heard that name before.
http://www.f22fighter.com/
http://www.yamaha-motor.com/sport/products/modelhome/439/0/home.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saleen_S5S_Raptor
http://www.nba.com/raptors/?hp=1
http://keyperformance-raptor.com/index.php
Purhaps other companies should follow Fords footsteps. I would be very annoyed if I bought a Raptor and ended up with an ATV instead of a fighter jet. I also own a pedal bike made by Norco called the Voltage. I guess Norco should sue GM for the Volt.Give me a damn break. If this was a road car for sale in the States then Ford might have reason to cry. But there are cars for sale in the states that have the same name. Mazda sells the 3, Bmw the 3 series, Audi has the A3, Chrysler the 300.

@Jordan L - Ford did have some legal wrangling over the use of the name "Raptor".
exerpt "Boutique sports-car manufacturer Mosler owned the rights to the name but settled with Ford/SVT.
Other Raptors include the Toronto NBA team, a Yamaha ATV, the Air Force's F-22 stealth fighter jet, and a roller coaster in Sandusky, Ohio"
http://www.trucktrend.com/roadtests/pickup/163_0908_2010_ford_f150_svt_raptor_first_drive/raptor_facts.html

@ Lou I wonder if that had something to do with the fact that Ferrari has deeper pockets than Mosler. Its okay for Ford and Mosler to share a common name on vehicles sold in the US but not a european racing car? Ford has lost credibility in my eyes. The story that DN quoted says that ford has suffered irreperal harm and is seeking damages. BS. Ford will have to pay its laywers more money than what Ferrari will cost them in profits. I gotta say this story has me really p**s*d off. Ford looks to be very hypocritical in this situation.

@Lou,

Good find!

Ford does take legal procedures unlike some schmucks.

@Jordan L,

Ford is pissing you off. Dude, you need a life.

@Jordan L -
These legal battlles happen al the time. Companies are very protective of their proprietary names.
A small outfit like Mosler could not afford a protracted legal battle with Ford. Ford probably offered them a chunk of cash for the rights and that was it.
Like I mentioned earlier - Microsoft went after a kid named "Mike Rowe" for his little computer business called "Mike Rowe Soft-Ware".
It was an embarrassment for Microsoft so they hired the kid and came to an out of court agreement.
Harley Davidson tried to sue Honda for making a motorcycle that sounded like a Harley.
Honda being considerably bigger than Harley made them look foolish.
The ruling was - "how can you copy a sound when you would need to take the mufflers off, therefore making the vehicle illegal anyway!"
Do you remember a kids show called " H.R. Pufnstuf " ?
MacDonalds copied the characters for its TV commercials used even today.
They sued MacDonalds - MacDonalds just bought them out.

How do you think Chrysler would react if an automotive company started using the "hemi" name or "Ram" name ?

I do agree the "irreparable harm" thing is a bit much but that is how lawyers make themselves rich.

You obviously read the link - the F 150 copyright has made Ford 180 billion.

I wonder if Ford would of been this agressive if Ferrari used the
Festiva name?



Post a Comment

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
  • Your email will not be shown.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Home | Buy or Sell a Truck | News | Special Reports

Powered by Cars.com. By using this site, you agree to our terms of service | © 2011 Cars.com | Privacy Statement | Contact Us

Visit our partner: MovingTruck.com