Lawsuit

Ferrari Loses Trademark Rights For Testarossa Brand

Does this mean the Hyundai Testarossa will debut next year?

According to the German language publication Spiegel.de, Ferrari has lost a legal dispute in a German court over its Testarossa brand. The Dusseldorf District Court has ruled that because Ferrari has not used the brand name sufficiently in the past five years, it no longer has exclusive naming rights. The last time Testarossa was used was, of course, on the Ferrari Testarossa, produced from 1984 until 1996. “A brand needs to be used to protect it, which the company has not done here,” stated the court’s spokesperson.

Okay, so where and how did this case start, and why the hell was it in a German, not an Italian, court? Apparently, Nuremberg entrepreneur Kurt Hesse, who’s also a toy manufacturer, brought the case to court and has now won. He argued that because Ferrari hadn’t used the name for more than 20 years it no longer had exclusive rights to the licensing fees. Hesse apparently wants to use the Testarossa name for bicycles, e-bikes and shavers. In court, Ferrari argued that because it’s still handling all maintenance and repairs of old Testarossas, that’s all the proof it needed that the brand name was still being utilized.

The judges didn’t buy it because they ruled Ferrari offers those services as Ferrari, not as a separate Testarossa brand. What’s more, even the service of providing Testarossa spare parts was ruled to be too small to be considered as a brand. More than likely this is just the beginning of the fight for Ferrari. It can, and likely will, appeal the court’s decision, but, that appeal will, once again, take place in a German court. It’d be interesting whether or not an Italian court would rule on this case any differently.

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