It specifically involves the legendary 250 GTO.
Exactly one year ago, Ferrari won a court case that meant workshops and private coachbuilders could not build replicas of the 250 GTOs, perhaps the company's most legendary model. Ferrari's legal team successfully argued the 250 GTO is a work of art and could not be replicated without the Prancing Horse's consent. Jump ahead to today, however, and Ferrari now finds itself in a very different legal position.
Ares Design, a coachbuilder located in Italy and headed by former Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, challenged the court's ruling by taking the case to the Cancellation Division of the European Union Intellectual Protection Office. Its own lawyers claimed Ferrari failed to use the 250 GTO design and related trademark for a continuous five-year period.
Ferrari has held that trademark since 2008, but Ares claimed they were "filed in bad faith, namely, as a defensive mark in order to block third parties to produce and sell similarly built sports cars." Basically, lawyers for Ares Design went with a use it or lose it argument by claiming Ferrari had not put the 250 GTO to use since 1964 and that it had no intention of using the trademark it filed a few years ago. In the end, the EUIPO sided with Ares Design.
One previous Ares Design coachbuilding project was a reinterpretation of the De Tomaso Pantera built on a Lamborghini Huracan platform. In all likelihood, Ferrari will appeal this decision but we don't know the chances of its success. The Ferrari 250 GTO is one of the most desired and expensive cars in the world. Built from 1962 to 1964, only 36 examples were produced.
In August 2018, one surviving car sold for record-breaking $48.4 million at auction. Don't expect Ares Design's reinterpretation to cost anywhere near that, though it's not expected to be cheap.