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Let the replica's begin.

Ferrari lost a landmark legal battle regarding its trademark covering the shape of its iconic 250 GTO, the world’s most expensive car.
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Ares Design, an Italian bespoke car manufacturer, won the case on the grounds that Ferrari had not put its trademark to genuine use for a continuous period of five years.

The 250 GTO changes hands these days for around £50 million. The decision, made by the EU’s Intellectual Protection Office, effectively cancels the trademark that Ferrari has held since 2007. Whilst Ferrari still holds the trademark over toy cars of the same shape, this is of little solace given the potential impact on the value of the car itself.

According to EUIPO documents, lawyers acting for Ares Design said the trademark had been ‘filed in bad faith, namely, as a defensive mark in order to block third parties to produce and sell similarly built sports cars’.
The Ferrari case illustrates the dilemma faced by car manufacturers in long term protection of the shape of their vehicles, Claire Lehr, Partner at EIP and Nora Fowler Associate at EIP tell us.

When examining the IPO’s judgement, they told us, “Ferrari’s 250 GTO was protected for vehicles through a shape mark. Trademarks, once registered, may be indefinitely renewed, but even the most famous of marks must be used to safeguard them against non-use cancellation proceedings.

“In this case, Ferrari filed in 2007 but had only “used” the 250 GTO shape mark between 1962 – 1964 on vehicles other than toy cars. Would a design right have served Ferrari better? Design rights (RCDs) are not indefinite only give 25 years protection, giving a limited protection for the 250 GTO’s iconic shape.”

At the centre of this case was ‘Article 58(1)(a) EUTMR’. This claims that a European Union trademark can be revoked if, within a continuous period of five years, the trademark has not been put to genuine use.
This was the same point of debate used last year by Irish fast food chain Supermacs when it successfully fought McDonald’s over the trademark ‘Big Mac’.

The iconic Ferrari 250 GTOs are among the most expensive cars ever sold in private deals and auctions, with the most expensive being bought for around £52.3million in 2018.
 

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Hmm - I wonder if GM has 'used' the 63 split window shape lately. Or if they even remembered to transfer intellectual property rights before GM went under and was reincarnated?
 

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How much does it really matter, except to Ferrari's corporate ego? The only way that a replica is going to affect the value of an actual Ferrari is if it is just as exotic but more relaible. Since the replicas are going to be Italian, they aren't going to be more reliable, so .....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
European court rules Ferrari doesn't own the 250 GTO's design
Ruling opens door to replicas, but Ferrari might still be able to claim the name

Europe's intellectual property authority opened the door to dozens of replicas when it ruled Ferrari no longer owns the rights to the 250 GTO's design. The company's legal team is now trying to at least protect the car's name.
Ferrari developed the 250 GTO, but that's not enough to ensure the overall design remains its intellectual property. It trademarked the shape in 2008, according to Automobile, but its rights were challenged by a much smaller company named Ares that wants to sell a modern interpretation of the car based on the 812 Superfast. Ares' lawyers argued Ferrari trademarked the design specifically to ensure the model isn't re-created, and they pointed out it hasn't been used in the last five years. This second point automatically made it a candidate for cancellation.
In its defense, Ferrari fervently argued putting the 250 GTO's lines in the hands of anyone who wants to make a replica or a kit car will cause the original models to lose some of their value. It also noted that, because the model is so valuable, "It will be sufficient to show very few sales of the products, their spare parts, or of the related activities of maintenance, repair, and restoration to fulfill the use requirement." European regulators disagreed.
The European Union's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) decided Ferrari can't trademark the 250 GTO's design if it's not planning on building something that looks like it. While the company has numerous new models in the pipeline, including its first SUV, a 250 GTO-inspired coupe is not in the works. IPO officials consequently released the shape for "the designation of vehicles and their assorted components, clothing and related merchandise, and games and playthings." Ares is now clear to begin manufacturing its 250 GTO-esque coupe.
Ferrari managed to retain the right to prevent other companies from selling 250 GTO scale models and toys. Its lawyers trademarked the name 250 GTO, but they won't know if their request is accepted until October 2020.
Neither side has commented on the ruling. In 2018, Ares planned to sell its modern-day GTO for about $1.1 million, a figure that included the donor chassis. There's no word yet on when (or if) it will start production.
Ferrari made 39 examples of the 250 GTO between 1962 and 1964. It's one of the most valuable cars in the world; WeatherTech founder David MacNeil purchased chassis number 4153GT, an example with a long racing history, for $70 million in 2018. The most expensive car ever sold at an auction is, unsurprisingly, also a GTO. RM Sotheby's sold a 1962 Scaglietti-bodied example (pictured) with chassis number 3413GT for $48 million in 2018.
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It is one of the greatest looking car of all time.

I think that if I really wanted one I'd buy one of these:usually Datsun straight 6 engined but quite a few with V8 power (I prefer the sound of the 6, but that's just me)

 
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