Ferrari In Trademark Tit-for-Tat Over the 250 GTO, Its Iconic Racing Car

Fun fact: you can mark a shape. Ferrari did so in 2008 for its then 44-year-old 250 GTO sports car. And, now, Ferrari has lost that brand in a dispute with Ares Design, a custom car store located down the street in Modena, Italy. The move could pave the way for outside companies to build and sell GTO lookalikes.

Ares, who wanted to build his own version of the rare 250 GTO, brought Ferrari to the carpet in the cancellation division of the European Union Office for Intellectual Protection, arguing that the company had registered its trademark origin in bad faith – essentially, to block efforts on leisure models. . He also noted that Ferrari has not used the GTO brand for at least five years, which, under EU intellectual property law, makes it eligible for cancellation. As Ares indicated in its cancellation file, “with regard to the goods [the 250 GTO design], the EUTM was only used in a similar form for a few years, namely in the 1960s. It is similar to Ferrari’s 250 GTO model, which was created in 1962, with a relatively small production of 36 cars . “

Ferrari replied:

“The 250 GTO is a sports car produced from 1962 to 1964 only in 39 units, all still in existence, and is recognized as one of the most glorious and iconic Ferrari cars ever created. that is no longer in production, the 250 GTO is still in great demand. The car and the corresponding EUTM have become a symbol of Italian style in the world, making it a way of life and a symbol of status. “

The iconic Italian automaker, who is known for fiercely defending and controlling his brand image, added that he believed opening the design of the 250 GTO to outdoor use would devalue the true and original 250 GTO by adding supply to a focus of demand. As Ferrari puts it: “In addition, the owner of the EUTM argues that the Ferrari 250 GTO is aimed at a very small market of collectors, celebrities and super-rich who can afford to spend millions of dollars. euros to buy such an expensive luxury car means that at least for class 12 it will be enough to show very few sales of the products, their spare parts or related activities of maintenance, repair and catering to meet the usage requirement. “

Ferrari’s request to reject Ares’ cancellation request was rejected, albeit partially. The European Union Intellectual Property Office awarded Ares a partial victory by revealing the 250 GTO model for use in “class 12”, the designation of the vehicles and their components, as well as for the “class 25 “(clothing and related goods) and” class “28” (“Games and playthings, except toy vehicles and model vehicles”). Ferrari retains the 250 GTO mark for models and toys .

The decision in favor of Ares based on Article 58 (1) (a) of the Intellectual Property Office, which stipulates that marks which remain effectively unused for a period of five years or more may be revoked . At the heart of this law is the concept of “genuine use”, which means that for a non-textual brand such as Ferrari for the 250 GTO, the company must actually build and sell a fit car. Ferrari’s insistence that form is part of the corporate mystique apparently did not influence the European Union Intellectual Property Office.

So consider the door open to outfits making 250 GTO likenesses, as well as the way Superfast sells Shelby Cobra lookalikes. Only one thing: if Ferrari succeeds, none of these companies can use the name “250 GTO”. A few days before receiving the cancellation decision from EUIPO for its non-textual brand 250 GTO, Ferrari filed documents for the brand name 250 GTO, covering cars, video games, sunglasses, toys , etc. This brand name application entered the “opposition period” which lasts until October 2020, after which Ferrari can be awarded the brand name of “Ferrari 250 GTO”. To take this, copy the cats!

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