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Yikes! Ford is at it again......

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fortyfordguy, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. Fortyfordguy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
    Posts: 643


    Just got a late evening phone call from one of my suppliers. They received a brisk letter from the legal dept at Ford demanding big dollars for past sales PLUS a cease and desist demand regarding the use of their logo. Believe me, this was one of the most innocent uses of the logo and happened to be on a flathead V8 related part. I'm not naming names at this point, but I can't help but feel that the Ford legal juggernaught is in the process of shooting themselves in the foot. I had to pull any references to these items from my website.

    This is not a component that could be used on a real engine by the way, and it only serves to promote and aid the Ford name. Similar parts that are produced by this company for other brands are done with the full knowledge and permission of Ford's competitors..... WITHOUT their hands in the pockets of this company.
  2. Derek Mitchell
    Joined: Nov 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,796

    Derek Mitchell

    They have to get all they can, times are tough at ol' Ford.
  3. I don't think they are after the dealers and royalties.
    I would like to think they are after the boot leg off shore producers that don't pay Ford for the use of the name.
  4. gowjobs
    Joined: Mar 5, 2003
    Posts: 776


    These things are pursued fiercely, not by Ford itself, but by their licensing department lawyers, who have to generate a certain amount of revenue each year to make sure that they have jobs the following year. Until licensing became such a business unto itself (and I'm not just talking about automotive brands here), manufacturers were much more realistic about only pressing the issue with those who used their trademark and designs to defraud or counterfeit.

    Scale model manufacturers are currently fighting exorbatant licensing fees not only on the automotive badges/designs, but tire brands and manufacturers of military vehicles, which were designed under contract to the U.S. government and its citizens, and should be (IMHO) in the public domain once declassified.

  5. Bugman
    Joined: Nov 17, 2001
    Posts: 3,483


    Ha! if you think Ford is bad, you should see the stuff VW pulled. ALL the aftermarket suppliers for teh air cooled crowd had to pull or edit ALL add containing Bug, Beetle, VW, Volkswagen, etc, and had to black out the VW logo even if it was on a vehicle in an add:rolleyes: Even VW produced mexican and brazillian replacment parts couldn't be advertised as "Genuine VW."
  6. MercMan1951
    Joined: Feb 24, 2003
    Posts: 2,654


    We had to pull everything VW related from advertisers in the AT&T phone books! If you were a shop that specialized in VW "BUG's" you couldn't say that, or the VW police would come after you. It's ridiculous.
  7. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,114


    Fortyfordguy...are you paying for your HAMB name :) You might have to become Fortyguy...
  8. Mighty Mouse
    Joined: Nov 16, 2005
    Posts: 32

    Mighty Mouse

    The VW issue is near and dear to me, don't mean to clog up the HAMB with those issues, but I feel for the Ford types getting caught up in this shit, it will take a barrage of letters to Ford to get the dogs called off, and even then it's iffy. The classic VW people got leverage finally by finding vintage friendly Volkswagen new car dealers to host car shows and ease the took years and it's still not settled for everyone yet.

    You want to feel really good about Ford with their TV commercials waving Old Glory around? Go pop the hood of ANY newer F-150 or up truck and check out the PLASTIC master cylinder reservoir.......on the side in letters just big enought to read it spells JAPAN......I wonder just how many parts in that "American" truck are sourced overseas?!? :mad:
  9. plan9
    Joined: Jun 3, 2003
    Posts: 4,059


    ford, chevrolet, mopar... they are all assholes.
    car companies dont care about their *good name*, i wouldnt expect anything less from them.
  10. husker
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 352


    Its all about the mighty $$$
  11. Attorneys justifying their existence, racking up the billable hours and servicing the client..... just like prostitutes


  12. yep, but im sure there's a logical reason other than greed.

    Ford needs all the help they can get.

    hey...why dont they sell off one of their ump-teen divisions.
  13. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,766

    from Colorado

    Harley damn near lost their trade mark because they did not go after the knock offs. I've been on the receiving end of a couple of some harsh letters from the attorneys at Mack Trucks, Porsche and Mercedes for trade mark infringement. Issues were settled to every one's satisfaction without a lot of legal fees.

    Now, how many of you would send money to Ryan to cover his legal fees to go after someone who ripped of the H.A.M.B. concept without his permission?

    I rest my case.
  14. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,818

    from KCMO

    you mean Ryan? he's got another kind of legal team. they got degrees from the school of hard knocks. who wants a rumble?!?

    Attached Files:

  15. 32viper
    Joined: Jun 3, 2004
    Posts: 277


    Hey, let's don't compare prostitutes with lawyers...I'd rather have the services of a prostitute instead of a lawyer any day..
  16. NVRA #84
    Joined: Aug 24, 2005
    Posts: 361

    NVRA #84

    Correct Lawers are like reverse prostitutes, they put the screwing to you.
  17. Speaking of that, have you seen any good Francis Coppola movies lately? 4t6 :D
  18. Fortyfordguy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
    Posts: 643


    Yep, I might have to drop the "ford" from Fortyfordguy. Come to think of it, since I sold the 40 and bought the 39, I should drop the "Forty". Maybe I can just be "guy"...............
  19. Merc63
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 249


    I'm getting ready to go after VW and others legally over their incorrect, and often illegal use of, trademark law. Unfortunately, here in October '06, there was an amendment that changed the wording of trademark law to make it a little harder for us enthusiast entrepeneurs.

    But, anyone who wants to can sign up when I do an open letter to auto manufacturers about killing of the enthusiast promotion, vs trying to kill off counterfeiting (which is a serious problem). I intend to publish the short version in most major magazines within the year, after I discuss with some anti-trust lawyers.

    Anyhow, I have a 12 page letter so far to VW filled with legal precedent (including when they got their asses handed to them in court over suing and giving a C&D letter to a company that advertised themselves as a VW repair specialist)

    Suffice it to say, there's a legal reason there can be a Speedy Lube and a Speedy Printing, and a Speedy Auto Glass in the same town, on the same block, with no actual affiliation.

    And, from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in '98, the court explained that “by specifically defining dilution as ‘the lessening of the capacity of a famous mark to identify and distinguish goods or services,’ the [FTDA] makes plain what the state statutes arguably may not: that the end harm at which it is aimed is a mark’s selling power, not its ‘distinctiveness’ as such.” The court then observed that “[t]he real interpretive problem has been with how harm to the senior mark’s selling power resulting from the junior mark’s use could be proved.” It rejected the method of simply presuming such harm from the identity or near-identity of the marks, the effect of which would be to create property rights in gross, reasoning that actual economic harm cannot be presumed based solely on a replicating or near-replicating junior use: “ndeed, common sense suggests that an occasional replicating use might even enhance a senior mark’s ‘magnetism’—by drawing renewed attention to it as a mark of unshakable eminence worthy of emulation by an unthreatening non-competitor.” The mere replication or near-replication of an established mark, therefore, should not be grounds for a presumption of dilution.”

    Trademark law is to protect the consumer, not the mark holder, period. It is written VERY clearly and cleanly that it is about protecting consumers from intent to defraud, and intent is 98% of court decisions.
  20. 4tl8ford
    Joined: Sep 1, 2004
    Posts: 1,087

    from Erie, Pa

    Somehow "Hey Guy" just don't hack it in this crowd.

  21. Merc63
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 249


    Again, see my previous post. Trademark law is to protect consumers from counterfeiting, not protecting manufacturers from competition OR protect them from others usint their name or logo on non-competing products, UNLESS it can be proven that the senior trademark holder's ability to sell their product has been hurt.

    Again, this is how United Airlines and United Van Lines can operate as trasnsportation companies that are not affiliated.

    Using the image of a '40 Ford in your own logo does not change Ford's ability to sell a new Explorer, nor their ability to sell their own '40 Fords (which they don't). Making a Ford or Harley Davidson T-shirt does not keep Ford or HD from selling their OWN T shirts OR their own MAJOR products. However making COUNTERFEIT HD or Ford products and selling them as original products in "original" packaging IS covered under trademark law as being illegal.
  22. 99% of all lawyers give the rest of them a bad name...
  23. abonecoupe31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2005
    Posts: 696

    from Michigan

    So if you get a Ford tattoo, should you send them a contribution then?..or just wait for their lawyers to come after you and force you to get it removed?

    (Ryan will probably remove your HAMB tattoo with a disc sander....)
  24. Fortyfordguy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2002
    Posts: 643


  25. bigken
    Joined: Jul 7, 2005
    Posts: 2,788


    Harley has been doing the same thing for years. Remember the 'Patent Sound' lawsuit? If it says Harley, they get a cut, or put ya outta business.
  26. Kevin Lee
    Joined: Nov 12, 2001
    Posts: 7,440

    Kevin Lee
    Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Unless I'm missing something the Ford logo is their trademark. What's the big suprise?

    Furthermore... if it's not a part that can be used on a real engine who really gives a damn anyway? Find someplace else to buy maltshop trinkets. :)
  27. Merc63
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 249


  28. Merc63
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 249


    Because you can still use their logo.

    Going back to the example of Speedy Printing, which is a fairly famous national chain. You can start a business called Speedy Lube, Speedy Auto Glass, Speedy messenger service, or even Speedy Burlesque, and Speedy Printing cannot do anything about it.

    The intent of the law is NOT to squash new competition. And if they use YOUR trademarked name OR LOGO on a separate business that you don't happen to like, sorry, but you have to live with it.

    In hearings on the FTDA, a Warner Brothers executive explained to a House committee: “[t]he basic principle is that the trademark owner, who has spent the time and investment needed to create and maintain the property, should be the sole determinant of how that property is to be used in a commercial manner.” This is the property-right-in-gross view of trademark ownership.

    Such a view is in tension with the traditional justification for trademark protection in the United States, which is based not on the interests of the trademark owner, but on the interests of consumers in the marketplace. While copyright and patent law are concerned with setting up incentives to create, trademark infringement law aims to prevent sellers from misleading consumers about the source and affiliation of goods and services.
  29. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Maybe it's about time for Ford to go belly up--their distant past is WAY grander and more interesting than their present state. I was rather surprised to realize I no longer felt any loyalty to or interest in Ford back in '72...
    Maybe they could be bought out by Toyota to get their plants and networks...
    Or they could go ahead and merge with GM, just like Nash and Hudson merged to ensure survival.
    As with Elvis, maybe death would be an improvement on a degraded and questionable present.
  30. repoguy
    Joined: Jul 27, 2002
    Posts: 2,085


    Well put.

    I feel the same way about being loyal to the big 3. In my humble opinion, they have been pushing an inferior product to what the Japanese offer, period. They cloak themselves in the American flag and tell us to "buy American" while simultaneously jerking the rug out from under thousands of folks who have given them the best years of their working lives (oh yeah, and legally harassing the little guys at the hobby level).

    I say let 'em go belly up. They are a business, and businesses have to adapt to survive in the market. When your business philosophy is "we can make a product that is inferior to our competitors and still remain competitive because we have loyal customers", you're pretty much fucked.

    I'd like to see how many tax dollars have been funneled into the big 3 over the last 25 years to keep them operating (actually, maybe I wouldn't).

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