Last week I read about this case and found it fascinating.
The car you see pictured here is the Ferrari F150, theItalian carmaker’s 2011 Formula 1 racecar named to honor the 150th anniversary of Italy’s reunification. You may be thinking that the name “F150” sounds familiar. That’s because it is also the name of Ford’s full-size pickup truck. And Ford is less than happy that Ferrari is using the same name.
According to The Guardian, Ford sued Ferrari for trademark infringement, eventually forcing Ferrari to use the car’s full name, “Ferrari F150th Italia.” But Ford didn’t stop there – the company is also suing Ferrari for its registration of the domain name FerrariF150.com under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) and is seeking $100,000 in damages. Ford is basically trying to crush Ferrari on this one.
If you’re scratching your head trying to picture Ferrari as a cybersquatter, get ready to be thrown for another loop: Ford doesn’t own F150.com or FordF150.com. FordF150.com points to a fan site, but F150.com resolves to a pay-per-click site.
And what does Ford make of Ferrari’s Facebook page for the F150?
Seeing brand owners go after cybersquatters whose sole business is cybersquatting is standard for us, but seeing two high-profile brand owners fight it out over a domain name is something that doesn’t happen everyday.
Brand dilution is a big deal, but so is lots of free press for both companies.