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Ford Battling Universal Pictures Over Jurassic World’s ‘Raptor’ Trademark


Is the word "Raptor" now more synonymous with a truck than the actual dinosaur?

Think of the word “Raptor” and what’s the first thing that pops into your head? If it’s a turbocharged Ford F-150 with beefy suspension and legendary off-road prowess, then congratulations, you’re a car enthusiast and you’re in the right place. If those mini T-Rex-looking dinosaurs that Chris Pratt tried to tame in 2015’s Jurassic World come to mind in lieu of a pickup, then you don’t suffer from our affliction, but it may give Ford all the more reason to press on with its fight Universal Pictures' trademark application.

This trademark spat between the automotive giant and the movie studio behind the Fast and Furious series was brought to our attention by law firm Morrison Lee. It details how the indelible dinosaur franchise tried to file an intent to use trademark (lawyer speak for trying to call dibs on a trademark that will be used on a product not yet in distribution) in December of 2015 for the term “Raptor Squad.” In Jurassic World, Pratt’s character, Owen, trains a team of raptors (the dinosaurs) to take on a giant genetically modified and villainous dinosaur called the Indominus Rex. Owen’s team of raptors garnered the Raptor Squad nickname, which Universal Pictures wanted to trademark and use on a class toys that includes cars.

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Ford quickly opposed Universal Studios’ application on the grounds that people would confuse the “Raptor Squad” toys with its Raptor trucks and think they are associated with the Ford brand and its F-150 Raptor pickup. Ford uses the Raptor name for the truck we all know and love, but it uses the name on series of electric toy pickup trucks meant to draw in young F-150 Raptor fans before they are of truck buying age. That makes Ford's case a but more understandable. Ford thinks that consumers of all ages will get confused when they see Universal Studios’ Raptor Squad toy on store shelves and wants to avoid the mix-up, but for now the matter seems to be in the hands of the courts. Who do you think is right?