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I'm being sued by Ferrari

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Paul_308, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. Paul_308

    Paul_308 Formula 3

    Mar 12, 2004
    2,335
    In short, my domain names include FerrariWiring.com, FerrariDiagrams.com and I provide readable diagrams for 1970-1985 Ferraris for $20 (all not each) and I've gotten high praise from everyone. Last year I did less than 4 figures income so my efforts to benefit the community obviously aren't enough to hire an attorney.

    "6. Furthermore, we have ascertained that you are actively using the above-captioned domain
    name by publishing on the home page, and on corresponding web pages, Ferrari S.p.A.’s
    trademarks, distinctive signs, including the Prancing Horse Scudetto, and Ferrari diagrams.
    Moreover, your web site also contains multiple copyrighted images of Ferrari automobiles or of
    Ferrari parts on the homepage and on the other web pages, which you intentionally use to attract,
    for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site by creating a likelihood of confusion as to the
    source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site by our client. We also have
    ascertained that, on every diagram, the Ferrari name appears in the characteristic lettering, which
    is also protected as a trade mark. "

    They wish me to GIVE them the domain names and obviously, take down the sites.
     
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  3. AceMaster

    AceMaster Three Time F1 World Champ

    Feb 6, 2009
    31,049
    Calling a penalty
    Full Name:
    Mike
    That is bad news for you Paul. I hope this gets resolved amicably, without the courts, and without you losing any money.
     
  4. Strictly Ferrari

    Strictly Ferrari Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed BANNED

    Nov 29, 2004
    603
    3045 Davis Blvd.
    Full Name:
    Naples Classic Car
  5. PAP 348

    PAP 348 Moderator
    Moderator Owner

    Dec 10, 2005
    86,860
    Mount Isa, Australia
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    Pap
  6. ferrari 512 tr

    ferrari 512 tr F1 Rookie

    Nov 16, 2008
    3,828
    Australia
    Full Name:
    Paolo
    we should all go on strike from buying or using our ferrari's WORLD WIDE
    so ferrari shuts the ferrari up!!!!
    and leaves our brother alone.
     
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  8. mwr4440

    mwr4440 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 8, 2007
    43,786
    Bavaria, The 'Other' Germany
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    Mark W.R.
    That is flat BS.

    I can see it (sueing) if they were still making these cars that Paul has in his little way worked very hard to help keep on the road, where as Ferrari has done practically nothing for years.

    Ferrari can "Stick It."
     
  9. 50hdmc

    50hdmc Formula 3

    Oct 10, 2006
    1,204
    Michigan
    Full Name:
    mark s
    If they would step up to the plate and provide the needed material, at a reasonable price, there would be no need for the "Pauls" of the world marketing the product. I hate this kind of crap..........Paul, have you been able to discuss this with the others (many from what I understand) that have been sued for similar "infringements".....(?)
     
  10. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    20,383
    socal
    Many companies are going after anything with their name on it. We need more sites like this

    http://www.chase-sucks.com/

    Look what chase is trying to do. Sound familiar? The big guys have big lawyers. What a bunch of little guys need to do is hire one big lawyer and fight back. I am surprised ferrari does not shut doesn't sue ferrarichat. There is ferrari in the name and it is about ferraris. Geeze give me a break. They should spend their time making their cars work better so we would not have to try and find work arounds to deal with cr@p engineering.
     
  11. FF8929

    FF8929 Formula Junior

    Apr 12, 2008
    799
    Livonia, Michigan
    Full Name:
    Fred Flynn
    As the song says: "It's just one of those things you just can't do nothing about". You get as much justice as you can afford.
     
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  13. TheMayor

    TheMayor Eight Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 11, 2008
    83,583
    Vegas baby
    #10 TheMayor, Mar 26, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
    I just settled a similar thing (without legal action) with Lucasfilm. This sort of stuff happens all the time with trademarks and websites. I contacted them and worked out an alternative name that we could agree to. I agreed not to use or sell the domain names in question and to withdraw my trademark application.

    Companies must show they are protecting their trademarks or risk losing them. Unfortunately, it happens every day.

    Personally, I could have fought. But, the risk of losing and the cost was too great. Plus, I actually need Lucasfilm as a friend instead of enemy. Bottom line, it was just easier to give in.

    I had a friend who owned an independent repair shop called "Dr. Volks". He serviced VWs of course. VW sued him to change the name because of trademark infrigment and the "potential for confusing services provided to customers were authorized by Volkswagen" --- which was silly of course. It didn't help that he was around the corner from a large VW dealership...

    He changed it to "Dr. Bolts" and everyone was happy.
     
  14. sparta49

    sparta49 F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Mar 3, 2001
    7,794
    LA
    Full Name:
    Frank
    So get their shield off your website and quit using their font and maybe they will go away.
     
  15. wingfeather

    wingfeather F1 Rookie

    Feb 1, 2007
    3,493
    rock bottom
    That is enough to make me wanna never buy an F car again:(

    1. Remove their logo.
    2. Keep the domain name, but change the title on the pages to " Ferra Ridia Grams ".
    3. Put all information behind a login so that only people from our forum know what the site is about - Ferrari SPA won't be able to tell what you are selling.

    Send them a box of dog poop as a thank you gift.
     
  16. toggie

    toggie F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Nov 30, 2003
    18,453
    Virginia
    Full Name:
    Toggie (Ron)
    I assume you got a letter from Studio Barbero in Italy. That is the law firm that represents Ferrari SPA regarding copyright/trademark issues. If you do a google search, you will see that they are very active and have won a number of legal cases in similar situations.

    There is a reason this forum website (and many Ferrari related websites) have the words "FerrariChat.com has no affiliation with Ferrari S.p.A." on every web page that is displayed. You'll notice they also never use the Cavallino prancing horse image or the Ferrari font where the "F" part of Ferrari goes over the other letters.

    IMHO, it is best to remove all prancing horse logos, all long-F fonts, and add the none-affiliation disclaimer text to the bottom of every web page. If possible, it would also be a good idea to remove the letters "ferrari" from your URLs. I am not an attorney but this seems to be the best way to avoid these types of legal challenges.

    Keep us posted on what happens with this situation so that others can benefit from the experience.
     
  17. ramosel

    ramosel Formula 3

    Sep 11, 2004
    1,236
    Meadow Vista, CA
    Full Name:
    R Moseley
    Paul,
    Certainly, just pull their logos and names... keep your product available. It is wonderful thing you have done. We know who you are and what you are doing without the logos.

    There certainly shouldn't be any confusion from Ferrari on your product vs theirs. Your's is much more usable than theirs!!!!! HELL, they should hire you to do THEIR electrical and functional diagrams!

    Rick
     
  18. saw1998

    saw1998 F1 Veteran

    Jun 8, 2008
    8,237
    San Antonio, Texas
    Full Name:
    Scott
    #15 saw1998, Mar 26, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
    Is this a copyright infringement or a trademark dilution/infringement case? If it is copyright, make sure that your diagrams have no Ferrari-related insignia, markings, etc. on them. Did you actually create the wiring diagrams yourself or did you use the Ferrari diagrams? Small modifications of line thickness, labeling, use of colors, etc., can negate them from saying you "copied" their diagrams. I just looked in my old 1981 308 GTBi OM and there are NO copyright markings on the wiring diagrams, themselves. Although the OM is copyrighted, as a whole.

    With regard to trademark dilution/infringement, I assume you legally own and have registered your domain names, thus Ferrari, Spa has no right to them. Tell them to go pound sand. This is a typical Big Business harassment suit; where they try to prevent everyone and anyone from using any Servicemark or Trademark with the word Ferrari, the cavallino rampante, etc. within it. By all means, remove any reference to these aforementioned elements and change the fonts. Most importantly, make sure you have a disclaimer on every web and document page that states that you have no affiliation with Ferrari, Spa or FNA

    I practice Intellectual Property law. Scan the documents and send them to me in a PM, I'll give you my opinion/advice, gratis.
     
  19. saw1998

    saw1998 F1 Veteran

    Jun 8, 2008
    8,237
    San Antonio, Texas
    Full Name:
    Scott
    Toggie, you missed your calling, you should have been an IP attorney. You are absolutely correct with regard to all of your comments. My complements. :)
     
  20. Challenge64

    Challenge64 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jul 28, 2004
    5,846
    Full Name:
    Ron
    #17 Challenge64, Mar 26, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
    Several years ago I registered Ferrarimodels.com

    I got a letter from an atty at FNA asking to cease and desist. I told him that the Ferrari models I was selling were all appproved for and licensed by Ferrari. I also told him that I purchase the models directly from the manufactuer that carried the license agreement. Therefore I was an authorised dealer selling a Ferrari licensed product. FNA agreed and I never had another problem.

    I tried the same thing registering porschemodels.com and it did not work.

    I have since let ferrarimodels.com lapse and since then someone else got it. (I since then registed scalecars.com and ran a diecast business until I learned to hate selling toy cars)
     
  21. SrfCity

    SrfCity F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    9,842
    Orange County, CA
    Maybe wait until they get more nasty, in the meantime use F-chat as a template with what you can get away with and start working towards that. Good luck.
     
  22. Paul_308

    Paul_308 Formula 3

    Mar 12, 2004
    2,335
    Thanks for the suggestions...haven't done anything yet as it's hours old.
    The pdf can be viewed or downloaded at http://www.paul-bennett.com/Cease&Desist.pdf

    I was going to make the drawings free but someone said that won't change anything legally. The $20 I charge is more of a nuisance filter, pays my hosting and certainly not out of line.

    Come to think, I recently got an order from Switzerland....could it be?
    I really wanted Ferrari to extend an invitation to help their drawing department. Delusional I know.
     
  23. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Sep 20, 2009
    5,331
    These guys got a similar letter and then changed their site and removed the prancing horse, shields and Ferrari lettering. This website is compliant.

    http://www.weserviceferrari.com
     
  24. The Ape

    The Ape Formula 3

    Feb 28, 2007
    1,758
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Ape
    You're a good man. That's very kind of you to help out an Fchat brother.
     
  25. toggie

    toggie F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Nov 30, 2003
    18,453
    Virginia
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    Toggie (Ron)
    Once again, I am not an attorney, but I believe one of the cornerstones of the Studio Barbero complaint is the potential for confusion of a typical web user thinking your website might be owned by Ferrari SpA or officially sanctioned as such.

    Notice the following legalese in the C&D letter:

    "... a clear infringement of our client’s rights due to the obvious risk of confusion, mistake, and deception caused by the subject domain name."

    and

    "... Internet users to your web site by creating a likelihood of confusion as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site by our client."

    I believe it is the prominent placement of non-affiliation text on the bottom of every one of your web pages that clearly states there is no affiliation of your website with Ferrari SpA that helps avoid this type of potential user confusion.

    I defer to real IP-trained attorneys reading this thread if they have a different opinion or not.
     
  26. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 6, 2003
    22,690
    Las Vegas, NV
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    Ryan Alexander
    #23 ryalex, Mar 26, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
    You can use "ferrari" in your URL. This has been held over and over again to be acceptable descriptive use.

    Like Toggie has already been described, just don't use the cavallino rampante horse, the scudetto, the badge, the FERRARI logo/wordmark with the long F or the car numbers in their stylized form (ie the "328" in lines).

    Also, like you're doing now, be clear in your footer that you're not affiliated with Ferrari SpA.

    Studio Barbieri does their internet searches, their American lawyers are http://www.cll.com . Although I see that the partner that had the Ferrari account, Albert Robin, passed away last fall. I talked with him a few times for fchat sponsors that had gotten letters and he was always direct in what was needed and fine to deal with.
     
  27. Silky Smoove

    Silky Smoove Karting

    Dec 12, 2009
    86
    Frisco, TX
    Full Name:
    Marty
    Crap, I just painted the horse in my garage wall, better keep it closed.
     
  28. FBI

    FBI Formula Junior

    May 27, 2008
    446
    Calgary,Ab
    That sucks Paul, Hope you get this worked out quickly.

    I'm sure there's a lot of guy's here willing to help a brother out.

    Do you think they will sue me because of my avatar. lol

    Cheers!
     

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