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· Registered
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It looks we'll be able to continue to buy roadsters and coupes.

Not much new information here beyond the headline.


Here's the whole text:

Ford, Shelby reach settlement with Wareham business

Factory Five workers on the job yesterday; details due later
By JOAO FERREIRA, Standard-Times staff writer

WAREHAM -- Ford Motor Co. and Shelby American Monday night settled a trademark infringement lawsuit against local kit-car maker Factory Five Racing before the case even went to trial.
No details of the in-court settlement are available.
"The parties have agreed not to release any information to the press for a week from the day of the settlement," said Randall T. Weeks, Factory Five attorney, yesterday.
While no details of the settlement are available, Factory Five was open for business yesterday and still rolling out the do-it-yourself Cobra assembly kits at the center of the question. By staying open, the local business, located on the Wareham industrial park on Kendrick Road, keeps about 40 people on the job.
The settlement was reached Monday around 6:30 p.m. after court-ordered mediation between the parties.
Judge A. David Mazzone mediated the settlement.
The trial of the kit-car maker accused of unlawfully reproducing Ford trademarks was scheduled to start Monday at 9 a.m. at U.S. District Court in Boston.
But as attorneys for Factory Five and Ford dragged about 60 boxes of documents to the courtroom, Judge Rya W. Zobel ordered parties back to mediation, citing the magnitude of the trial.
Witnesses from several parts of the country were also on hand to testify in the case.
Closed-door negotiations ensued for the better part of the day and the parties involved often met in the hallways and discussed the case.
Ford was seeking statutory damages and an injunction against Factory Five for the use of the "Cobra" name and logo.
Automotive legend Carroll Shelby -- on hand Monday at the trial -- was also suing the company for $10 million for allegedly counterfeiting the Cobra design.
While a non-jury trial on the Ford suit was scheduled to start Monday, the jury trial on the Shelby's suit was still pending.
Both suits were resolved Monday night.
Mr. Weeks had said last week that he was confident about his client's chances regarding the Ford suit.
Factory Five had argued in court that Ford abandoned the Cobra name and logo when it failed to use the marks in commerce and actively police the marks.
It had also argued that Mr. Shelby abandoned his rights to the design and Cobra name, in part by not trying to stop other companies from copying it for 30 years. The Wareham company said the design had become generic.
However Ford and Shelby attorneys had said that even though production of the Cobra car stopped in 1997, Mr. Shelby continued to use the Cobra name through licensing agreements and such side products as toy models.
Mr. Shelby has gotten 14 injunctions protecting his trademark in other states and has fought trademark violations for years.
Ford owns the rights to the Cobra name and design, and Mr. Shelby uses them under license.
Ford obtained the trademark from legendary Mr. Shelby as part of a sponsorship agreement in 1965, when he raced in the World Manufacturers Series.
Mr. Shelby created the Cobra legend by dropping a powerful Ford Mustang engine into the body of a British-designed AC Ace roadster. He sold the cars until 1967.
The cars quickly became the icon of an automotive era and have been widely replicated for the last 30 years.
Mr. Shelby restarted manufacturing his original Cobra in the 1990s after a long litigation with Ford.
Factory Five is the biggest kit-car maker in the world, producing about 500 kits a year.
The Factory Five Racing kit retails for $10,990, but a new Shelby Cobra 427 SC costs $59,000 to $90,000.
Kit-car customers have to provide an engine, chassis and other mechanical components, bringing the total cost of the car to $16,000 to $40,000.

[ February 13, 2002: Message edited by: Sleeper ]

[ February 13, 2002: Message edited by: Sleeper ]

· Senior Member
6,544 Posts
My humble, non expert, have no friggin clue, stab in the dark is that Ford Motor is or was exposed on the "Cobra" name/trademark.

One day worth of deliberations seems pretty quick unless it went mostly in FFR's favor or Ford/CS had an open & shut case.

Getting a, "Yes, the sky really is blue." comment agreed upon by three parties represented by legal counsel would probably take two hours. :rolleyes:

It's probably not all over just yet, IMHO.

I know Meat won't post over here at least right now, but he's probably the one that will know the most. He's not my most "favoritest" person, but damn that guy knows this industry better than anyone I've run across.


· Administrator
9,547 Posts
I talked to Dave Smith this morning and all is great in the FFR community. He couldn't discuss details until Monday, but he said that he's very happy. He's going on a much needed short vacation next week, but he said he'll have Mr. Weber post the info on FFCars.com Monday.

In my opinion, if Dave's happy, that can't be bad for us! So all is good for our hobby!

Everyone should find an FFR buddy and raise a toast to the Smith Bros, for they are the true living legends!

- Bill

· Vendor
8,338 Posts
How about standing back and look at the big picture.
Ask yourself what Ford wants and what Ford has to offer.
What FFR wants and has to offer.
What CS wants and has to offer.

Here is my take on it and it is just my opinion.

Ford wants "Cobra" because they have spent millions promoting it over the last few years. Ford settled with Shelby years ago over it instead of squashing Shelby, this tells me that Shelby would have won in a court judgment making Cobra public domain. If Ford was in a position to win with FFR, why would they settle? Ford has cash to offer to keep this from becoming public record.

FFR wants to keep doing what they have been doing, making Roadsters and they need the shape to do that. Assume that FFR has the evidence to disprove any trade dress assertions. Also assume that FFR has the all the evidence and legal precedence to make "Cobra" public domain. So assume FFR has this as a bargaining chip.

CS wants $$$$$$$$
CS has the supposed shape to offer

So by following the wants and offers it ends up like this:

Ford keeps using and protecting "Cobra", gives $$$ to Shelby and possibly FFR to not have it go to a court judgment which would render it into public domain.

FFR gets to use the shapes of the roadster and coupe and continues doing business as usual.

CS takes his money and goes home

· Senior Charter Member
474 Posts
Kit-car customers have to provide an engine, chassis and other mechanical components, bringing the total cost of the car to $16,000 to $40,000. Quote

Hum, my kit came with the chassis. How many other details are wrong that I can't verify.

· Rip Snortin Post Maniac
1,044 Posts
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by thunderball:
uuhhh...that would be"did someone run over him?" :D<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Or how about "would someone run over him"? Please. :D

· Moderator
12,704 Posts
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Wayne Presley:
Shelby wanted money, not to stop production.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Wayne what you are saying makes sense.

However, Ive always maintainded that when its all over, ONLY THE LAWYERS WILL PROFIT. :( :(

Hopefully, on monday, we will know some more about it.


[ February 15, 2002: Message edited by: CobraEarl ]
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