Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Ford Owners Deserve It
A Ford enthusiastic group, the Mustang folks (BMC a.k.a. Black Mustang Club) to be specific, made a calendar featuring twelve heavily modified Mustangs of their most active members (member of the month) in 2007. They were shocked when Ford noticed the printing firm to stop the process, because it infringed Ford's trademark and trade dress (the unique shape of Ford cars).
If Ford spent money and time to agonize its few fanboys left, then they deserve their ever dwindling market share. If anyone keep buying Ford, they deserve to be treated like trash.
Legally speaking Ford's claim does not stand either. A circuit court repelled an architect's claim of trademark infringement by a photo depicting a building, because the finished photo is seen as a rendering of the building, not what (the trademark or other IP) stand behind the building.
Ford is not even innovative in making the phony claim. Another company has done it earlier and loudly. That company is SCO. For years, SCO has given up their software development business, but switched to a litigation driven company, pumping stock price by blindly threatening lawsuit against every individual on the planet earth. As mighty as Ford, the executives may be able to pull an even sweeter pile of money before they bury Ford as an auto maker once and forever.
Although not the first time Ford's lawyers went insane over its own fan sites, this one is particularly damaging. The absurd story was promptly picked up not only across varies auto clubs and forums, but also by some most popular geek sites such as Boingboing, Slashdot and Digg. Should it be necessary to form a grand jury, it would be hard to find enough English speaking people who hadn't laughed at Ford's stupidity at provoking and handling of this incident.