Ferrari's iconic Testarossa lives on after trademark tussle

The name - Testarossa - has been the subject of lawsuits in Germany, where a court three years ago revoked the trademark, arguing it hadn’t been used
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A 1986 Ferrari Testarossa from Miami Vice.
A 1986 Ferrari Testarossa from Miami Vice.

Ferrari NV won a European Union court ruling over its rights to keep a German trademark for the name of its Testarossa sports car.

A trademark for a discontinued product -- such as the iconic Testarossa -- remains valid as long as the owner still provides services or resells second-hand goods under the name, the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled on Thursday.

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The Testarossa name is reminiscent of one of Ferrari’s famous racing sports cars in the 1950s, called Testa Rossa. It went into production in 1984 and was discontinued in the following decade. Testarossa means red head in Italian, and described the cars’ bright red camshaft covers.

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The name has been the subject of lawsuits in Germany, where a court three years ago revoked the trademark, arguing it hadn’t been used properly for years.

The carmaker declined to comment on the ruling.

A German court in 2018 asked EU judges to define what was actually meant by “genuine use" in the bloc’s trademark rules and how it would affect a case like Ferrari’s. EU top court rulings are binding on national tribunals.

The cases are: C-720/18, C-721/18, Ferrari.

First Published Date: 22 Oct 2020, 16:32 PM IST
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