Ferrari's F150 logo was too similar to Ford's F-150 pickup truck, the top-selling vehicle in the United States, Ford said in a complaint filed. Ford asked the court to ban Ferrari from using the name and is also seeking unspecified damages, including damages of $100,000 under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.
Ferrari replied that it was "very difficult to understand Ford's viewpoint on the matter" since the car for this season's F1 world championship was given the name to celebrate 150 years of Italian unity and is not commercially available.
“Ferrari believes that its own contender in the forthcoming F1 championship cannot be confused with other types of commercially available vehicle of any sort whatsoever, nor can it give the impression that there is a link to another brand of road-going vehicle," a statement said.
"Despite this and to further prove it is acting in good faith...Ferrari has decided to ensure that in all areas of operation, the abbreviated version will be replaced at all times with the full version, Ferrari F150th Italia."
Ford's rival Fiat has an 85 percent stake in Ferrari, and management control of Chrysler Group LLC, in which it has a 25 percent stake.
In a statement issued earlier today before Ferrari’s name-change announcement, Ford said it asked Ferrari to change the name of its F150 race car.
“Ferrari did not respond in a timely manner, leaving Ford no choice but to take legal action to protect its important brand and trademark rights,” Ford said in a statement.
“Through extensive sales and advertising and exclusive use, Ford has earned invaluable goodwill in the F-150 trademark. That hard-won goodwill is seriously threatened by Ferrari’s adoption of "F150."