Ford sues Ferrari over use of F150 name

Ford and Ferrari are on a collision course...

To no one’s great surprise Ford has taken legal action in Detroit against Ferrari for using the F150 name on its new car.

It seems that nobody in Maranello had noticed that one of the world’s biggest vehicle manufacturers had been using the designation for its most popular truck since 1975.

Ford is particularly irate over the existence of the http://www.ferrariF150.com website, and has accused the Italian company of cybersquatting and trademark infringement, according to paperwork filed in US District Court in Detroit.

The court case appears to relate mainly to Ferrari’s use of and potential earnings from the F150 name in the USA, and given that there is no GP in the country, that might be hard to determine. Apparently Ford contacted Ferrari about the matter but did not get a ‘timely’ reply.

A statement from Ford tonight 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. 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.”

“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.”

32 Comments

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32 responses to “Ford sues Ferrari over use of F150 name

  1. F1 Kitteh

    ROFLMAO, I was worried what took them so long, guess americans never miss a good lawsuit!

  2. Hare

    What a plate of maloni… Talk about tight fisted sore losers.

  3. CARSON44

    I’m glad that Ford is doing this as I,for one, was very confused as to why Ferrari was attempting to run a pick-up truck this year. I wonder how many others made the same mistake. Frerrari should change the name to Eff- 150.
    After that make a public statement as to how sorry and embarressed they were and beg Ford’s forgiveness. Actually makeing a biger deal of this nonsense than Ford.

  4. kaoru

    lol
    American is really genius to make money from anything and everything.

  5. mia

    Having stayed in the US for a couple of years, I feel this lawsuit really makes sense that Ferrari’s F150 logo even looks like the long lost brother of Ford F-150…
    And Ford’s F-150 is very popular in the west that even the major of my town drives one up and down…

  6. Mart

    Practical question: if Ford have spent the past 34 years building “an established and important Ford trademark”, can they genuinely be so concerned that their brand awareness will be significantly undermined by a car that will be in use and publicised for less than one year? Is the market for F1 in the US really large enough to unsettle awareness for their “best-seller in Ford’s F-Series”?

  7. Alberto Dietz

    Looks like Ford never forgave Ferrari for having Axel Foley fooling around in his 308 all over Motown back in the ’80s.

  8. Ted Roalfkuepter

    American companies getting involved in the political sideshow of the F1 circus is like a somewhat disguised, positive indicator of growing Formula One interest in the United States of America in the run up to the return of the USGP in 2012. Only good can come of it, if only that it provides another story to chew on during the off-season fasting. Now i’ll have me some more Team Lotus v. Lotus Renault GP, please !!

  9. Hare

    I wander if Ford are reacting to this picture? I would love it if was on some execs morning email digest and he went nuts :)

    http://www.twitpic.com/3u2csj/full

  10. Tim

    Give me a break . . . it a designation of a race car that celebrating Italy’s unification. Plus, it’s a designation that will only be used for one year. I’m a Ford fan (own 3 Ford vehicles), but this is rediculous.

  11. Watch the name magically change from F150 to Ferrari 150… I’m betting that’s what happens.

  12. Stone the crows

    That hard-won goodwill is seriously threatened by Ferrari’s adoption of “F150.” What a load of nonsense. How on earth is the ‘goodwill’ (whatever that is) of the F150 trademark threatened by that same alpha-numeric being applied to one of the most sophisticated motor vehicles on the planet? You’d think Ford would be savvy enough to piggyback on Ferrari’s branding and get a bit more bang for the buck-sort of the way Player’s did when Renault picked up the old JPS livery. Nah, the answer to everything is a lawsuit.

  13. jimfectious

    This isn’t the first time this has happened. We should probably remember history. Porsche initially wanted to name the 911 as a “901.” However, Peugeot was angry because it said it had all rights to any car name that had 3 numbers with a 0 in the middle.

    I think Ford will likely say that the injury to goodwill (which can be calculated) is because the Ferarri F150 name will confuse the general public.

  14. Peter G

    Just shows how stupid America is, and the way they want to sue anyone over anything.
    Maybe if FERRARI were marketing the car for sale, but, not a racing car.
    Dumb Yanks…No wonder they are becoming the laughing stock of the world now.

  15. Bob Heathcote

    Alain Prost is having the last laugh

  16. Bob Heathcote

    If you are too young to know, google for “Alain Prost Ferrari truck”

  17. Simon Haynes

    Should have called it the i150 instead … no chance of a lawsuit there, eh?

  18. Of course, there is always the possibility that the Ferrari will drive like a ford F-150 to worry about!

    I would be interested in seeing sales figures on the Ford F-150 fom Italy and Europe in general – but I do recall a Top Gear segment which was introduced with the spiel that the biggest selling vehicle in the UK the previous year had been the F-150. So it would not be US brand confusion that would predominantly worry Ford, it would be Europe. The only reason for a US case is to establish a precedent in a slightly more “friendly” court – or to take advantage of a percieved tendancy of US courts to give disproportionately-high payouts in comparison to those of other countries.

  19. scottnaustin

    F150 has been a huge success for Ford so certainly there is value in the moniker. It should be trademarked in the USA but I’m not educated on international trademark law.

  20. Steve W

    And if Ford decided to build a new car and call it the Testa Rossa? Would that be OK? Yes? No?

  21. **Paul**

    “Ford is particularly irate over the existence of the http://www.ferrariF150.com website”
    ??? What were Ford planning to do with FerrariF150.com exactly? Use it for those people wanting an engine that produces >50bhp per litre??

    Seriously this is absolutely stupid. The Ferrari F150 is (as mentioned above) a racing car, it’s not a road going gas guzzling pickup truck. What an idiotic world we live in. If they have to change the name I’d go with something like Ferrari F1 150, minimal change, but enough to leave those who love lawsuits not much to chomp on, and they can go back to filing suits against fruit trees for using a US tech companies logo without consent of Steve Jobs or something.

  22. doug

    I agree on the surface this seems silly, no one is going to confuse the Ford pickup truck with the Ferrari F1 car.

    Unfortunately the reality of trademark law is that it is the responsibility of the holder to defend that mark. If Ford doesn’t at least make an attempt to stop the use of potentially offending use of the their logo/name it could subsequently be seen as consent for somebody else to use it.

    I am not saying Ford isn’t probably a little ticked off that Ferrari chose the name they also are probably doing what there lawyers told them the have to do to maintain ownership of “F-150″.

  23. Ben G

    Great photo illustration.

  24. Tony G

    Ford are still cheesed off that old man Ferrari didn’t sell to them in the 1960′s. Thank God he didn’t as we wouldn’t have had the GT40, Ford’s only true success in Motorsport – and that was designed and built in Britain…..

  25. anym

    Never heard of the city to sue the Ford Torino for the most turin, or magazine to focus ford focus for.
    At the ford of the children are just ridiculous.

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