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Porsche wants to sue me! Help!

 
Old 12-09-2014, 12:50 PM
  #46  
drooman
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Ferrari is extremely aggressive in this manner...Makes the Porsche lawyers look tame
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:02 PM
  #47  
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As Ed suggests, protection of brands, identity, copyrights and trademarks is extremely important to the holders. When you buy a car these days, you essentially buy a license to advertise that car's brand for the manufacturer. Seems fair. IP lawyers will remind us that holders must evenly and thoroughly enforce their rights to all potential offenders, or risk having their property fall into the abyss of public domain. Coca-Cola, Kleenex, Band-Aid, etc. are quick to remind everyone that a cola isn't a Coke unless they sell it. A Porsche business is not really a Porsche business unless they own it or license their name to it.

Porsche tells us that it's OK to have events that celebrate their brand and the brand loyalty they have built through decades of hard work. Give credit to their trade names in your event promotion, no problem, so long as you include a disclaimer that you are not Porsche. Use their name in your business name, and they have a problem -- Someone might mistake your business for theirs.

In that previous round of internet trademark C&D actions over a decade ago now, we lost "Porschelist" and "Porschefans" website names, superseded by Rennlist. I remember the stink they put up over PorscheLynn's (sp?) web presence, even though that was in fact the legal name of the holder. Bodywork was, um, different enough that they backed off for a while.
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Old 12-09-2014, 02:24 PM
  #48  
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As Curt notes, trademark holders are required to defend their Mark or else risk loosing it. Could you imagine the cost to Porsche (or VW) if they loose their Mark and anyone can use it with impunity - competitors, detractors, knock-off vendors and the like? Issuing a C&D letter is only the start of a demonstrable defense - they have to follow through as well even if they seem to be beating up on the little guy.

It may not feel right, but it is the way the laws on trademarks are structured globally. In those countries where trademarks are not currently enforceable (think China for example, though they now support patents if not trademarks) misuse leads to all kinds of market confusion that the unscrupulous benefit from. I'm sure you have heard of genuine OEM parts in branded boxes that are actually cheap knock-offs.
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Old 12-09-2014, 02:35 PM
  #49  
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When I started my business, in 1975, my original name was "Precision Porsche".

That lasted for about 5 years, when I got a friendly letter asking me to change my name. I ignored that letter, for a year. That letter came from "Luke Baer", which looked like a 3rd grader signed it. He was simply "Council". The next letter was not so friendly...signed, once again, by "Luke Baer", now vice president and head council. The signature was completely different. Very fluid and elegant....much more confident and intimidating.

I figured out that they had an entire office full of attorneys that got paid regardless if I fought them, or not.

Changed my name.

Another shop (in Southern California) "Porsche Straus" fought them and won, however, it was very expensive. (Their claim was that they had their name for many years and should be able to retain it.)

I understood Porsche's point, entirely, and had no ill feelings. It's their name. They want to protect it and make sure that people know who is Porsche and who is not.

While this thread is very old, the current guy that brought it back from the dead really only has one choice...change the name of his business.
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Old 12-09-2014, 02:40 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Tarek307 View Post
Holly thread resurrect lol, i'm going through this now with my business, CarreraMotorSports guess i'll also have to submit..seems big dog eat little dog ...
Change teh C to a K and tell them its the name of your Dog...the team racing mascot or somehting.
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Old 12-09-2014, 02:49 PM
  #51  
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Or go with "Portia"...
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:20 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by WyattsRide View Post
Expect a C&D letter to you soon Ed!


spit my coke through my nose! (or rather my Coca-Cola(R)).
I'm okay though, Rick, because my name is not a commercial name but a personal name
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:31 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Tarek307 View Post
Holly thread resurrect lol, i'm going through this now with my business, CarreraMotorSports guess i'll also have to submit..seems big dog eat little dog ...
Well, AFAIK, Porsche took the name from the Carrera Panamericana, so that seems a bit rich for them to claim motorsport ownership of the name. It is a Spanish word too, so they can't reasonably (IMO) claim to own it. Other companies do use it too.

They can afford a lot more in legal fees than I assume you can though.
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:20 PM
  #54  
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Literal translation of "carrera" from Spanish is "run", while common-to-most translation of "Carrera" from German to US English is a Porsche model designation reference. Used in the context of an automotive business, the reference to the Porsche model name is probably closest to the original intent when the business name was selected.

In the end, we all make decisions about whether the good will associated with our business name is worth a legal fight. Little guys, even when they have a reasonable expectation of success, roll over early in the face of potentially daunting legal costs. Fight it for a year or two and a couple $hundredk, and if you reach a settlement you are still on the hook for all your own costs. Bigger companies have a lot more to protect than the little guy, and must defend against lots of potentially-infringing little guys. Every one of them they find, in fact.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:34 AM
  #55  
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I wonder what they think about this brand ... http://www.roschepaper.com.au/ ... which I saw in the bathroom at my dentists a few weeks ago. I immediately thought 'holy crap' (pun intended), Porsche make toilet paper!
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:15 PM
  #56  
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Even the Porsche Club of America had to negotiate the use of the Porsche in it's name AND has strict rules of how they may use both the name and logo. If the club sells something with the Porsche name or logo, they can only sell that item to club members.

Porsche does not only sell cars, they have an entire business of doing product design for themselves and other companies, under the name Porsche Design.
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Old 12-10-2014, 03:29 PM
  #57  
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So it wasn't much more than a decade ago that two of the Gallo brothers (Ernest and Julio) decided that brother Joseph's sausage business was infringing on their trade name and the immense goodwill that was associated with their wine business. That of course had been built on such famous swills as "Thunderbird" and "Night Train", as well as their "premium" brand names. Very interesting trial followed, and the wine brothers lost. Turns out that it's OK to eat salami slices with cheap red wine.

Want to use "porsche" as part of your brand identity? Make sure it's your actual family name, and that there is no reference or relationship to any of the present (or future?) products or services they might offer. Or have deep pockets and a crack legal staff available.
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:36 PM
  #58  
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Quite a while ago Honda went after shops that had Honda in the name. I knew one owner who became pen pals with their legal dept. He would respond with alternatives and ask if that would suit them knowing it wouldn't. Went back & forth several times before they accepted his new proposed name change.
His reason for dragging it out with back & forth letters was he wanted to get past the deadline date to make changes in the yellow page ad.
That gave him another year for him to let his customers know there would be a name change.
Pretty smart.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:40 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by dr bob View Post
Literal translation of "carrera" from Spanish is "run".
Actually, to run is 'correr' in spanish. 'Carrera' is race, or in a professional sense 'career'. In the case of Porsche, I am sure they mean 'race'.

Although Spanish is not my first language, I am fluent. I also verified it with my hot Colombian wife.
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:59 AM
  #60  
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