Ford and Ferrari finally settled their differences over the alleged trademark infringement by Ferrari. In cases like these, one lawyer usually tells the other: “What does it take for this to go away?” In this case, Ford’s lawyer must have answered: “Lose the F, or lose the case.” And that’s what happened.
Ford had dragged Ferrari into the U.S. district court in Detroit, after Ferrari had the nerve to call their new Formula One racer the “F150”. Ford feared massive dilution of their F-150 truck mark, and sued. Ferrari backed off and called the racer “Ferrari F150th Italia,” saying that “the choice of name stems from Ferrari’s desire to pay tribute to this year’s one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Unification of Italy.”
That wasn’t good enough for Ford. The effing F had to go. According to Reuters, Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari said the new name “still contained F and 150,” and that change “was not acceptable to us.”
Ffffollowing that, Ferrari announced in an article titled “The Horse Whisperer – The name changes but not the sense“:
“In order to avoid the slightest risk of anyone confusing a Formula 1 car with a pick-up truck, for their part, the men from Maranello have decided that the car will lose the F that precedes the number 150 and which stands for Ferrari, as it has done on numerous occasions when it’s come to giving a car a code name, be it for the race track or the road. It appears that this could have caused so much confusion in the minds of the consumer across the Pond that, at the same time as losing the F, the name will be completely Italianised, replacing the English “th” with the equivalent Italian symbol.
Therefore the name will now read as the Ferrari 150° Italia, which should make it clear even to the thickest of people that the name of the car is a tribute to the anniversary of the unification of our country. Let’s hope the matter is now definitely closed and that we can concentrate on more serious matters, namely ensuring that our car that already seems to be pretty good out of the box, becomes a real winner.”
The little circle behind the “150” is the Italian way to say “150th”. The websites “FerrariF150.com” and “Ferrari150.com” are also gone after Ford accused the scuderia of cyber-squatting.
And the winner is? Ferrari. Never in recorded history had a Formula One car so much exposure before it had finished a single race. A Google search for “Ferrari F150” produces 562,000 hits. It may even rub off on another Ferrari. What did Ferrari call their first 4seater, 4WD car? Ferrari Quattro Sede? Ffforget about it. It’s the Ferrari FF. They say it stands for “four-seater, four-wheel drive.” In Italian, fffor sure.
We know better.