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Old 01-20-2008, 01:26 PM   #1
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Ford strikes again

The more I think about it, I'm glad Ford doesn't really make anything I am interested in right now.

I also looks like I need to hurry up and buy my bumper inserts soon before the rest of the companies out there get nailed too.

Quote:

LAW OFFICES
HOWARD, PHILLI PS & ANDERSEN
GREGORY D. PHILLIPS 560 East 200 South, Suite 300
Direct Dial: (801) 366-3909 Salt Lake City, UT 84102
E-Mail: gdp@hpalaw.com
January 16, 2008
VIA EMAIL (sales@autobadges.com)
and FIRST CLASS MAIL

Erick Valdez
AutoBadges.com
1366 S. Orange Drive
Los Angeles, California 90019

Re: AUTOBADGES.COM.COM - Sale of Counterfeit Ford Products

Dear Mr. Valdez:
This law firm represents Ford Motor Company (“Ford”). Ford owns numerous
trademarks including without limitation FORD®, MUSTANG®, COBRA® and their related design marks (the “Ford Trademarks”). Ford also has trade dress rights in the distinctive appearance of its products. Use of Ford’s trademarks or trade dress, or any confusingly similar variations thereof, without Ford’s express, written authorization, violates United States Federal Law, is misleading to the public, and constitutes a misappropriation of the goodwill and reputation developed by Ford. Ford takes policing and enforcement of its trademark rights very seriously, and has recently obtained preliminary and permanent injunctions against infringers who manufacture and/or sell counterfeit Ford products. See e.g. Ford Motor Co. v. Lloyd Design, 184 F.Supp.2d 665 (E.D.Mich. 2002) (granting Ford preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining defendant’s production of floor mats bearing Ford’s trademarks, and awarding Ford’s attorneys’ fees and costs in excess of $250,000).
It has recently come to Ford’s attention that your company is manufacturing, advertising, and/or distributing products bearing counterfeits of Ford’s registered trademarks (i.e. bumper inserts). Attached is a printout from your website autobadges.com displaying your infringement for your review.
There is no doubt that these products violate Ford’s rights. Consumers viewing your products will mistakenly believe that your business is affiliated or licensed by Ford when it is not. Because such consumer confusion is inevitable, the trademark laws categorically prohibit the unauthorized display of another company’s design trademarks or logos. See American Honda
Motor Co. v. Pro-Line Protoform, 325 F.Supp.2d 1081 (C.D.Cal. 2004) (enjoining manufacturer from displaying Honda design trademarks, including HONDA STYLIZED® and ACURA STYLIZED® on model car bodies and packaging); The New Kids on the Block v. New America Publishing, Inc., 971 F.2d 302, 308 (9th Cir. 1992) (explaining soft drink competitor might be
able to compare its products to Coca-Cola “but would not be entitled to use Coca-Cola’s distinctive lettering” because use of another’s “distinctive logo” is never justified).
The purpose of this letter is to demand that you cease and desist immediately from violating Ford’s rights by manufacturing and/or distributing products bearing Ford’s trademarks. In order that Ford may assess what damages it has suffered as a result of your sale of infringing products, please provide the following information no later than January 30, 2008:
1) The number of products set forth by item sold or distributed using or bearing any Ford trademark, or any variation of any Ford Trademark;
2) The gross revenue received from the sale of such products set forth by item;
3) The time period during which such products have been offered or sold;
4) The names and addresses of all non-retail purchasers of such products and the number of each product listed by item purchased by each such purchaser;
and
5) The names and addresses of any suppliers of the products and which product each supplier supplies.
Ford demands that you surrender to Ford’s counsel all existing inventories of decals or other products that bear any Ford trademark or any confusingly similar variations of any Ford trademark. Ford further demands that no later than January 30, 2008, you pay Ford by cashier’s check damages in the amount of twenty five percent (25%) of the gross revenues from the sales
of any products that have been sold using in any way any Ford trademark in the past five years, or $5,000.00, whichever is greater. Finally, Ford demands that you execute the attached Agreement setting forth your agreement that your company will refrain from violating Ford’s rights in the future. You may be infringing or diluting Ford’s rights in ways other than those set forth above.
The list set forth above is not intended to be comprehensive, and Ford reserves the right to bring to your attention other matters that Ford believes infringe or dilute its trademarks and trade dress, or constitute false advertisement. This letter is without prejudice to all rights of Ford, including past or future royalties, past or future damages, attorneys’ fees, and to bring enforcement actions for all past or future infringement, dilution, unauthorized uses, or false advertisement.

Should you have any questions concerning Ford’s position in this matter, please contact Susette van der Beek at (801) 366-3909.

Sincerely,
Gregory D. Phillips
GDP:sv
cc: Ford Motor Company
January 16, 2008

AGREEMENT
By execution of this Agreement the undersigned agrees to immediately and permanently cease and desist from all unauthorized uses of any trademark of Ford Motor Company in connection with any products, services, advertisements, promotional literature, promotional telecasts, broadcasts, signage, on the Internet, or otherwise, in connection with the advertisement
or sale of any product, part, good, or service. Specifically, by way of illustration and without limiting the general agreement expressed
above, the undersigned agrees that it will immediately, and by no later than January 30, 2008:
(1) cease using any Ford trademark and/or trade dress in connection with the
production any product;
(2) turn over to Ford and its counsel for destruction all unauthorized products in inventory bearing any Ford trademark, or any variation of any Ford trademarks;
(3) provide the following information:
a) The number of infringing products set forth by item sold or
distributed bearing any Ford trademark or trade dress;
b) The gross revenue received from the sale of such infringing products
set forth by item;
c) The time period during which such products have been offered or sold;
d) The names and addresses of all non-retailer purchasers of the infringing
products and the number of each product listed by item purchased by each
such purchaser; and
e) The names and addresses of all suppliers of the infringing products,
and which product each supplier supplies.
(4) By signing this Agreement the undersigned represents and warrants that the information provided pursuant to paragraph (3)(a-e) above is a full and complete disclosure.
(5) pay to Ford Motor Company by cashier’s check damages in the amount of twenty five percent (25%) of the gross revenues from the sales of any products using any Ford trademark or trade dress for the past five years, or the sum of $5,000.00, whichever is greater.

The undersigned further agrees and acknowledges that any violation or breach of this Agreement will cause irreparable harm to Ford, and that Ford will be entitled to both a preliminary and permanent injunction against it for any violation of this Agreement, as well as any other remedy allowed by law. The undersigned further agrees that if it breaches this Agreement, it will pay all costs incurred by Ford in enforcing this Agreement, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, whether incurred with or without suit or before or after judgment.
AGREED TO:
AUTOBADGES.COM
By:
Its:
Date:
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Old 01-20-2008, 02:02 PM   #2
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Re: Ford strikes again

If you'll read the thread on 3.8 he has figured out what is going on.

There is a small law office that has been doing this to most companies selling anything to do with all auto manufacturers. You don't have to comply, they're just gonna get money out of ppl who give in easily.

Pretty much, if you stand up to them they'll go get easier bait.
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Old 01-20-2008, 02:05 PM   #3
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Re: Ford strikes again

yeah... gesh if F o r d (dont want to get in trouble hahah) would put more money into the cars and not going after the people..
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Old 01-20-2008, 02:08 PM   #4
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Re: Ford strikes again

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowflyn View Post
There is a small law office that has been doing this to most companies selling anything to do with all auto manufacturers. You don't have to comply, they're just gonna get money out of ppl who give in easily.

Pretty much, if you stand up to them they'll go get easier bait.
That statement right there sums it all up for me. In other words, ford is sitting there trying to stay afloat by trying to sucker every penny they can out of everyone whether it be a vendor or customer.

Like I said, I'm glad ford is making nothing I am interested in. Sure makes it easier to not buy their products.

It's also a good thing the Challenger has come out...when the time comes to buy a new performance car, it will certainly make it easier to jump off my brand loyalty.
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Old 01-20-2008, 04:57 PM   #5
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Re: Ford strikes again

like someone else said elsewhere, dont sell them as COBRA badges; sell them as ARBOC or sell the letters individually. anything FORD can be DROF or the like. Mustang = gnatsuM and so on and so forth.

seems resale value is going to take a huge hit soon as millions of mustang owners start selling their cars because of disgust for Ford.......
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Old 01-20-2008, 06:44 PM   #6
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Re: Ford strikes again

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas91169 View Post
like someone else said elsewhere, dont sell them as COBRA badges; sell them as ARBOC or sell the letters individually. anything FORD can be DROF or the like. Mustang = gnatsuM and so on and so forth.

seems resale value is going to take a huge hit soon as millions of mustang owners start selling their cars because of disgust for Ford.......
That'd be good, I'll buy up all the sweet foxes that go up for sale and sit for months... then buy 'em cheap when the owners are fed up with not getting them sold...
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:57 AM   #7
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Re: Ford strikes again

Loooove the Challenger! I also still love the Ford Edge, in addition to the Mustang of course!
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