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Ford's Desperation


MarkV

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Guest Jim_Edwards

Ford has long been very protective of its registered Trademarks and Service marks. This isn't the first company they have gone after. One of the first I can remember was a company on Oklahoma that specialized in providing NOS, NORS, and reproductions for a wide range of older Ford products. The called themselves something like Obsolete Ford Parts, or something close to that. The used the name for several years before Ford discovered them and the fact they were also using Ford logos without approval or proper licenses. GM used to be just as big on unauthorized use of their Trademarks, etc.

I tangled with both Ford and GM some 15 years ago attempting to get permission to use various logos and trademarks of both on a Web site. The Internet was so new then neither companies legal departments even had a clue about the benefits of allowing an automotive hobby site to use their logos and trademarks. All they harped on was a licensing agreement that gave them a percentage of licensed products sold. They never could get it in their hard heads we weren't selling parts, clothing, or anything else of a tangible nature.

Jim

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Guest my3buicks

I don't see desperation, I see good common sense business at work. Well past time the auto world comes down on the small venders making oney off their image/brand without even asking for the right to do so.

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Guest Jim_Edwards
imo... in this case.. it is heavy handedness...

Ask McDonald's about that. In the late 1960s or early 1970s they ended up paying a guy (who happened to be a lawyer) for the rights to what they thought was their logo property and Trademark in the form of the Golden Arches. Their failure to uniformly use the Trademark in accordance with their registration opened the door to its use by another who claimed it was his because they didn't defend the usage or conform to the registration. It only cost them something around seven million (a huge sum of money then), not including attorney's fees, as I recall to regain the rights to the Golden Arches

Trademark.

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Guest Jim_Edwards
:) Jim it may be a differant co. or maby they have a legel right,but I regularly do bussness with a co. called Obsolete Ford.

No, it's the same company. They now operate as "Obsolete & Classic Auto Parts." New Web site: Centrally located right here in the heart of Oklahoma Old Web Site http://obsoletefordparts.com/ Note the comment at the bottom of the old Web Page.

Here is a link to a 2003 article on the matter. Family business fights to keep Ford in its name | Journal Record, The (Oklahoma City) | Find Articles at BNET

I'm speculating on what brought the flurry of legal action by both Ford and GM back in the 1990's but I suspect a couple of guys who are/were in the reproduction parts business may have actually encouraged the Ford and GM to pursue the course given they had made considerable investment in providing product for the benefit of the hobby, in hopes of making money.

One of those people is the sadly deceased Jim Osborn who spent years going back and forth between Atlanta and Detroit to gain access to Ford Mustang archives. Everyone who owns a Mustang of any age owes Jim as he is the guy who made it possible for you to buy many, many items for your car you might otherwise have hell finding. The other guy is Dennis Carpenter who I'm sure most auto hobby people know of for one reason or another. Dennis like Jim built a business supporting the hobby and again I speculate that both may have been indirectly instrumental in Ford and GM realizing they needed to protect themselves as well as those they licensed to reproduce products for auto hobbyists.

Jim

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It can definitely get ridiculous. A good friend of mine was casting Texaco truck iron toys until he got a letter to "Cease and desist" making Texaco toys because Ertl has the contract. What were they afraid of? Did they think that his little production limited to 50 units would be a threat? Good thing those Ford guys did not see these '36 Fords that Tom made.....

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Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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Am I the only one who sees the irony in the last two sentences of that article?

But they have decided to rename the business using the word "restomod," a term referring to car restoration and modification that Mustangs Plus copyrighted.

The wording of the final name has yet to be ironed out, though: That decision must wait for another business to relinquish its hold on the "restomod" moniker.

So if I read that correctly, Mustangs Plus has copywrited the term "restomod" but is having a problem using their copywrited IP because another company is using it?

Karma really is a *****...

Edit:

Why does this forum software censor a word that is regularly heard on network television in prime time????

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Guest Jim_Edwards
Am I the only one who sees the irony in the last two sentences of that article?

So if I read that correctly, Mustangs Plus has copywrited the term "restomod" but is having a problem using their copywrited IP because another company is using it?

Karma really is a *****...

Edit:

Why does this forum software censor a word that is regularly heard on network television in prime time????

Yeah, you read that correctly. Assuming the article is correct in using the word "copyright" in conjunction with the word "restomod" it would appear the business owner is a bit ignorant of the law. A copyright is not the same as either a Trademark or Service Mark. In the most simple definition a copyright is generally applicable only to a particular writing, recording, intellectual property, etc.; whereas a Trademark or Service Mark is somewhat like a Patent, giving the holder exclusive rights to either provided the use is consistent and within the definition on record at the time the Trademark or Service Mark was registered. I suspect in this case the end result will be the word "restomod" may be legally held by the other company provided they have filed documents necessary to register it and not just also claiming right by copyright.

Me thinks that Mr. Ron Bramlett is in the process of being acquainted with more than one aspect of the law, maybe his attorney as well. He'd be wise to just make sufficient alteration in the name to make it acceptable to Ford rather than to spend more money than he'll gross in a year in attorney fees and court costs. There are any number of words that would accomplish that without loosing the basic identity, some even suggested by Ford that is darn close to what he's using now.

Jim

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Guest Jim_Edwards
that article is form may 2006??

It certainly is! And, Mustangs Plus is still operating under that name and publishing a "Restomod" magazine. Interesting thing is there are several other companies operating under the name of Mustangs Plus. One in Euless, Texas, one in Kansas City, and maybe more. Also interesting is the fact that Colt Firearms markets a weapon as a Colt Mustang Plus.

This thing is either ongoing or it is indeed possible that courts have ruled that "Mustang" is a common word that has been in use as a reference to a wild horse for God knows how long. I've been nosing around for Court records on that issue and have yet to find any, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Truthfully, I don't really care, but I do respect any company who chooses to defend its registered Trademarks and/or Service marks.

Jim

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I don't see this as desperation at all on Ford's behalf, just continuing to do what they have done in the past, common sense business.

Anyone that thinks they have the "right" to use their name is mistaken.

Sort of like the restomod thing ... know what you are doing or pay the consequences ...

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I don't see this as desperation at all on Ford's behalf, just continuing to do what they have done in the past, common sense business.

Anyone that thinks they have the "right" to use their name is mistaken.

Sort of like the restomod thing ... know what you are doing or pay the consequences ...

Back in the 70s and 80s, Harley Davidson payed little attention to the use of their name, logos and images. Then things changed. HD, today, makes 100s of millions of dollars on their licensed merchandise. It isn't small potatos. It may seem chicken $#!t of Ford to go after "little guys", but it is in their interest to protect their property. If they make an exception for the Mustang guy, then they may as well except everyone. As Mr. Rohn said, it's just business

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This actually cuts both ways. When the new Ford GT came out several years ago, the initial show vehicle was called the GT-40 like its ancestor in the '60s. A company in Cincinnati now owns the GT-40 name and they sell parts and other spares for the cars. When they saw the prototype, they allowed Ford to use the name free of charge. However, when Ford proposed series production of the car, they wouldn't let Ford use the GT-40 name without some ridiculous licensing fee that would have added tens of thousands of dollars to the price of each new car. So Ford went with the un-patentable "GT" moniker instead.

I understand protecting intellectual property, but there's protecting and then there's turning it into a profit center. Both are legitimate applications, but I think they should be applied with some modicum of reason. I don't think it's desperation in this case, maybe just some over-zealous enforcement.

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It makes you wonder when Ford is going to go after all of the magazines that bear or represent the name of a Ford or Ford product. Super Ford, Mustang Monthly, etc.:mad:

I'm surprised Ford hasn't gone after them because they're not a factory authorized publication, and perhaps the advertisers and ads aren't factory authorized vendors either.:mad:

I guess their next step will be to ban the song "Mustang Sally" for not being a factory authorized jingle.:mad:

It seems like Ford is taking things to the extreme. I'm glad my wife bought a Toyota. I'm not hearing them doing anything like that at all.

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^ I am sorry to hear that you bought a Japanese "rental car" (you know, nondescript cars that blend in and do everything adequately) ... but a lot of people do and that is their decision.

To buy one out of spite because Ford is following common business practices does not make any sense to me.

Wives usually will buy a Honda or a Toyota, it is what they do .. :)

... but then again, I can get by with 2 or 3 pairs of shoes, so I am not one that understands the buying habits of females ... :)

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^ I am sorry to hear that you bought a Japanese "rental car" (you know, nondescript cars that blend in and do everything adequately) ... but a lot of people do and that is their decision.

To buy one out of spite because Ford is following common business practices does not make any sense to me.

Wives usually will buy a Honda or a Toyota, it is what they do .. :)

... but then again, I can get by with 2 or 3 pairs of shoes, so I am not one that understands the buying habits of females ... :)

I do not understand MOST habits of females, but I KNOW I do not stand alone in that line.

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Ford is only following sound business practice. Their name and logo are priceless. The courts have ruled time and again that if a company does not zealously protect their trade marks they are liable to default to public domain. Why would anyone have an argument with protecting, at great cost to themselves BTW, the brand they have spent years and years and a gazillion dollars to establish?. Bayer lost the name rights to the drug "aspirin" because of lax policing of the copyright...........Bob

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Guest Jim_Edwards
Ford is only following sound business practice. Their name and logo are priceless. The courts have ruled time and again that if a company does not zealously protect their trade marks they are liable to default to public domain. Why would anyone have an argument with protecting, at great cost to themselves BTW, the brand they have spent years and years and a gazillion dollars to establish?. Bayer lost the name rights to the drug "aspirin" because of lax policing of the copyright...........Bob

I don't understand that every time an issue like this comes up there are always those who holler foul though having nothing directly to do with either party. Obviously, individuals who have never been in business for themselves or have never managed a business and have absolutely no understanding of basic business and civil law.

Jim

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It seems like Ford is taking things to the extreme. I'm glad my wife bought a Toyota. I'm not hearing them doing anything like that at all. (Quote from ex98thdrill).

Especially on veteran's day we should exercise"economic patriotism" and buy an american car.Every country that imports cars into this country has at one time been our enemy except Sweden and Australia if you count the late GTO.

Dave Mellor, US Navy 1968-1972

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Guest Jim_Edwards
It seems like Ford is taking things to the extreme. I'm glad my wife bought a Toyota. I'm not hearing them doing anything like that at all. (Quote from ex98thdrill).

Especially on veteran's day we should exercise"economic patriotism" and buy an american car.Every country that imports cars into this country has at one time been our enemy except Sweden and Australia if you count the late GTO.

Dave Mellor, US Navy 1968-1972

Don't think we've ever been at war with Canada, Mexico, or Brazil and we do get a limited amount of imported vehicles from those countries from the plants owned by domestic vehicle producers as well as European car makers.

Jim

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^ it has been done for ages, and it is just not Ford. A local auto repair shop USED to be called The Honda Doc, it didn't take long for Honda to go after them and make them change their name. Same for local BMW repair shop with a similar name that used "BMW" in it. Same for a local junk yard that specialized in Camaros & Firebirds, they had to take "Camaro" & "Firebird" out of their business name. A LOT of people go into business and learn the hard way how NOT to name their business, but IF they had a small CLUE about business in the 1st place, they would not have found themselves in hot water . . .

This is NOT new, it occurs ALL the time. It has been going on for DECADES. It is NOT just Ford.

Think back when the Model T was new, aftermarket companies began to make "replacement" parts and they were forced to NOT use the "Ford" name, ie the "FBool" logo and the like. Same with Chevy parts and the bowtie "logo"

Any one than thinks it is NOT in the realm of normal business practice is fooling themselves.

AGAIN, as stated above, the aspirin example.

Here is a great link that discusses that:

Genericized trademark - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

a quick quote from that link:

"A few examples of trademarks that have lost their legal protection in the US are:

Aspirin, originally a trademark of Bayer AG

Butterscotch, originally a trademark of Parkinsons

Escalator, originally a trademark of Otis Elevator Company[4][5][6]

Heroin, originally a trademark of Bayer AG

Kerosene, originally a trademark of Abraham Gesner

Phillips-head screw, named after Henry F. Phillips

Pogo for the toy Pogo stick

Sellotape, a brandname of The Sellotape Company

Thermos, originally a trademark of Thermos GmbH

Tipp-Ex, originally a trademark of German manufacturers Tipp-Ex GmbH & Co. KG

Yo-yo, originally a trademark of Duncan Yo-Yo Company

Zipper, originally a trademark of B.F. Goodrich

While Linoleum, coined by its inventor and patent holder Frederick Walton, is the first product ruled by a court as generic, it was never trademarked.

Other trademarks have come close to genericization, but have been rescued by aggressive corrective campaigns. Such is the case with Xerox for photocopiers, Plexiglass for shatter-resistant polymer glass, Kleenex for facial tissues, and others. A trademark owner takes a risk in engaging in such a corrective campaign because the campaign may serve as an admission that the trademark is generic.[citation needed] So, the owner must irreversibly commit to continuing the campaign until he or she is relatively sure the trademark has achieved primary meaning as a trademark rather than as a common name of the product or service."

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Guest Jim_Edwards

Jim, you realize there will always be an element within the population that views businesses aggressively asserting their rights as the bad guy, though acting reasonably to protect their rights, investment, and interests. The bigger the business the bigger the perceived boogie man becomes.

The bottom line really becomes, anyone going into any business should acquaint themselves with business and civil law sufficiently to keep themselves from doing something totally stupid. The law does not recognize "stupid" as a valid defense. As the old saying goes, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse."

I would point out that using the Trademarks, Logos, and Service Marks of any company without authorization is just a form of Identity Theft.

Jim

Edited by Jim_Edwards (see edit history)
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now off topic, but I think that government now recognizes STUPID ... , otherwise why would we have so many laws protecting stupid people from themselves?

Left turn arrows is my biggest peeve ... when you have a green light yet the moron in the front of the line WILL NOT move until the arrow turns green, regardless of oncoming traffic or not ... sorry I went off topic with this, stupid people annoy me :)

Edited by Jim Rohn (see edit history)
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now off topic, but I think that government now recognizes STUPID ... , otherwise why would we have so many laws protecting ourselves from stupid people?

Left turn arrows is my biggest peeve ... when you have a green light yet the moron in the front of the line WILL NOT move until the arrow turns green, regardless of oncoming traffic or not ... sorry I went off topic with this, stupid people annoy me :)

Stupid should hurt!

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Especially on veteran's day we should exercise"economic patriotism" and buy an american car.Every country that imports cars into this country has at one time been our enemy except Sweden and Australia if you count the late GTO.

Dave Mellor, US Navy 1968-1972

Dave, I agree with you in principal and choose to buy only American made autos myself. But, I will have to defend Pat (Ex98thDrill) that as a veteran himself, I am not going to question his patriotism due to owning an imported car. Thanks to you Dave, and to you Pat, and to all of the other veterans out there. I noticed a Purple Heart tag on an imported SUV beside me at the gas pump today. I think the license plate said more about the driver's patriotism than the country of origin of the SUV.

I just cant see why they are going after people who sell parts for the vehicles they made just because they have Ford in the name of the buisness,I can see them going after the makers of counterfiet parts but not on those people selling licensed reproduction and used parts.

Jeff, Look at the word in your post that I put in bold print.

I think the problem in this case is that the individual chose not to be "licensed". If he was paying a licensing fee to Ford, they would not be trying to protect their name. If he paid a licensing fee, he would be able to use the FORD name.

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Dave, I agree with you in principal and choose to buy only American made autos myself. But, I will have to defend Pat (Ex98thDrill) that as a veteran himself, I am not going to question his patriotism due to owning an imported car. Thanks to you Dave, and to you Pat, and to all of the other veterans out there. I noticed a Purple Heart tag on an imported SUV beside me at the gas pump today. I think the license plate said more about the driver's patriotism than the country of origin of the SUV.

Jeff, Look at the word in your post that I put in bold print.

I think the problem in this case is that the individual chose not to be "licensed". If he was paying a licensing fee to Ford, they would not be trying to protect their name. If he paid a licensing fee, he would be able to use the FORD name.

Thanks for the defense Matt. Not only am I a veteran, but between my mom's brother and my dad's cousin, I have two relatives who had over 80 years (combined service) owning a Ford dealership and selling Fords.

I'm also a Ford stockholder, and 8 out of our 20+ vehicles in the collection are Fords, so my wife driving a Toyota is not a brutal crime. I've had a Ford as a daily driver almost the entire time that I've had a driver's license.

I don't like how Ford is handling things, and I think that there is a better way to address things. With my history with the Ford nameplate, I feel that I have a right to complain.

To question my patriotism, that was out of line, but anyone who knows me knows that I am nothing but a soft spoken little runt that allows others to intimidate me.:rolleyes::rolleyes:

Thanks for watching my back Matt!!

.....oh by the way, the current project that my unpatriotic dad and his communist son are restoring is an 1952 Willys M38 Army Jeep. Hopefully we'll have it ready for Hershey.:eek::eek:

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Just don't make the mistake of mistreating his dad. :eek: You just might not live to tell the authorities what happened. :D
....and getting shoved can get dangerous as well. If they're drunk, in my face and shoving me, it gets deadly.:mad::mad::mad: Spit in my face and it's time to call the medical examiner.
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