Ferrari to call car ??F150th Italia? after Ford threat

2011 F1 season

Felipe Massa, Ferrari F150th Italia, Jerez, 2011

Felipe Massa, Ferrari F150th Italia, Jerez, 2011

Ferrari have changed the name of their 2011 F1 car on their website.

The car previously referred to as the F150 is now called the F150th Italia throughout the team’s website.

Ferrari have not officially announced the change. However it is still possible to see the original F150 designation in the cached version of the site on Google.

The move follows a legal threat by Ford, manufacturers of the F-150 pickup truck.

Update: Ferrari has issued a statement on the renaming of its car:

“On the subject of the name of the new Ferrari Formula 1 car, the Maranello company wishes to point out that it has sent a letter of reply to Ford, underlining the fact that the F150 designation (used as the abbreviated version of the complete name, which is Ferrari F150th Italia) never has, nor ever will be used as the name of a commercially available product ?ǣ indeed there will definitely not be a production run of single-seaters.

“In fact, it has always been the case in the history of Scuderia names, that they represent the nomenclature of a racing car project and are linked to a chronological order with a technical basis, or in exceptional cases, to special occasions. This year, the decision was taken to dedicate the car name to a particularly significant event, the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, an event of such great importance that the Italian government has declared, for this year only, a national holiday.

“For these reasons, 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. Therefore it is very difficult to understand Ford?s viewpoint on the matter.

“Despite this and to further prove it is acting in good faith and that it operates in a completely correct manner, 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.”

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194 comments on Ferrari to call car ??F150th Italia? after Ford threat

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  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th February 2011, 13:47

    The Ferrari 1/50th Italy, means Ferrari is only 2% of Italy? Or is it worth 2 pence!
    Pretty modest, for a change.

  2. I saw the Ford sues Ferrari over F150 name on their forum, and I thought it was a joke one to be honest.

    It is so petty from Ford, but Ferrari should have expected the bitterness that still goes between the two car companies gbecause of the fact Enzo pulled out of selling Ferrari to Ford in the 1960s.

    For anyone who doesn’t know what happened nexr, Ford commisioned the GT40 in order to obliterate Ferrai at LeMan. Was it a success? Well, the GT 40 won the next 5 LeMan or something similar. ;)

    • HounslowBusGarage said on 10th February 2011, 14:18

      It’s not really Ford being petty. Infringement of copyright works like that. If Ford had not objected strongly and allowed Ferrari to get away with it, it could have been used as a precedent by another vehicle manufacturer to produce a truck also called the F-150 and claim the right to use the name because Ford did not contest Ferrari’s prior use of the name.
      It’s just the way copyright works.

      • Tiomkin said on 10th February 2011, 14:36

        Yeah, I see the confusion. You walk into a dealership to buy a truck but walk off with a non road legal Formula 1 car that will never be on sale,wondering why they charged you $7million. Thank god for copyright. I feel safe now.

        If Ferrari tried to sell a truck call the f-150 then the case would have merit. This is just nonsense.

        • macahan said on 10th February 2011, 15:16

          Totally agree here. It’s not like the Ferrari F1 car will be sold to general public.

          But also the claim it was always intended as an abbreviation don’t fly with me. Then why did all website and news releases have the abbreviated name in it and now all a sudden have the full name? The “full” name was never breathed until the lawsuit. Just don’t buy that one at all. Just more smoke and mirrors from Ferrari (who would have guessed)

          • Mike-e said on 10th February 2011, 15:18

            yeah but all the merch could have F-150 all over it and ferrari badges instead of ford ones. People could be walking all over america wearing it, and associating F-150 with ferrari instead of ford.

          • @Mike-e
            Why would the merch say f150 on it? At most it’ll have a picture of the car, why would it have the name?

            Can’t say I’ve seen any racing shirt with the name of a car on (except a few that are supposed to be tributes to classics)

          • I know for a fact Mclaren sell Team caps with MP4-25 on them, and plan to release MP4-26 hats for the new season – if Ferrari do this with F150 it would be for commercial gain – then Ford would be able to complain – but I’m calling my dog F150 and Ford aren’t making me change!!!

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 10th February 2011, 18:40

            But also the claim it was always intended as an abbreviation don’t fly with me. Then why did all website and news releases have the abbreviated name in it and now all a sudden have the full name? The “full” name was never breathed until the lawsuit. Just don’t buy that one at all. Just more smoke and mirrors from Ferrari (who would have guessed)

            Absolutely. Out and out lies. Of course it wasn’t called the F150th Italia, until the lawsuit was filed. It really does seem like Ferrari had no clue of the F-150′s existence, not that that’s surprising. Still… total BS that they decided they would use the “full name” to avoid confusion. Then why wasn’t the url: http://www.ferrari150thitalia.com? Which incidentally looks like it’s available. Anyone wanna buy that domain? Ford?

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th February 2011, 7:39

            Would not think Ferrari not to understand, just as with all these things, it was not about what they thought or did, just about what they want us to believe.

            I bet Ferrari knew and was doing this on purpose. Why else are the graphics of the F150 logo so close to Fords F-150 (same style of font, proportions etc.).

            They probaly were planning on bringing out the T-shirts and caps.
            Then in a year, when Chrystler starts bringing the AlfaRomeo SUV onto the market they have weakened Fords brand and will have a better chance to get close(ish) to them in sales.

        • Castor (@castor) said on 10th February 2011, 15:25

          Couldn´t agree with you more, they are different “products”… no one is going to watch F1 because they think that a Ferrari F150 is in reality a Ford F-150, nor would anyone buy a Ferrari baseball cap beacause they think it represents a Ford F-150. But hey, what can you expect from law-suit-happy land…

        • F1iLike said on 10th February 2011, 15:36

          lol so true so true!
          Ford is desperate for attention since they suck now a days.

        • trocadero said on 10th February 2011, 15:45

          Ford tried to Sue Granada TV in the 1970′s when they launched the Granada saloon.

          Car or TV Station, let me think?????

          • pSynrg said on 10th February 2011, 16:16

            @ Trocadero

            That’s a very poor fabrication. Ford have never tried to sue Granada TV, ever.

            For starters Granada TV was an evolution of Granada Theatres Ltd. (which was set up in the 1930′s). Granada TV went live in 1956 and Ford released the first Granada in 1972.
            Why would Ford consider a lawsuit after the name had already been used by an unrelated company for 16 years (or longer when the parent company is considered.)

            Anyway – back on-topic:

        • Wallbreaker said on 10th February 2011, 17:07

          Agreed.

        • haha, nice one timokin

      • Griggs said on 10th February 2011, 15:44

        HounslowBusGarage (awesome name by the way – haha) is 100% right. It isn’t Ford being petty, it’s a legal requirement for Ford to actively protect their trademark. The truth is they are both cars, maybe different types but that doesn’t matter.

        Ford weren’t trying to be jerks to Ferrari, they were protecting themselves for a company in the future using the F150 name and using the fact Ford let Ferrari use the name with contesting it as evidence the trademark is null and void. Which does happen.

        I see this happen all the time in the games industry.

        Ford aren’t “trolling the trademark” either as they actively use it.

        • HounslowBusGarage said on 10th February 2011, 20:14

          Thanks Griggs.

          Ford weren’t trying to be jerks to Ferrari, they were protecting themselves for a company in the future using the F150 name and using the fact Ford let Ferrari use the name with contesting it as evidence the trademark is null and void. Which does happen.

          The most famous case of course, is Hoover. The company did not take steps to protect the use of the word as an alternative to vacuum cleaner and was subsequently unable to copyright their own name because it had passed into ‘common parlance’.
          Here endeth the lesson.

      • Rohan (@rohan) said on 10th February 2011, 17:52

        But legally, Ford don’t really have a case – there is a considerable difference between a pick-up truck and an F1 car. Ford’s trademark will have specifically been for a pick-up tuck rather than all motor vehicles, hence meaning Ferrari’s first choice would not have infringed the trademark.

        I suspect Ferrari only acquiesced to avoid a potentially costly (but needless, and ultimately fruitless) lawsuit from Ford.

      • Infringement is infringement I suppose. It does seem petty however your intellectual property is an asset that you own. From a business perspective If I was ford I would have done the same thing.

        I think Ford has more to gain from being associated with a high tech race car than Ferrari has to gain being associated with a truck that while popular is an engineering dead end. What I can’t understand is why they had to go and make such a stupid name. Why didn’t they just change it to roman numerals and call it an F-CL

      • SeattleChris (@seattlechris) said on 11th February 2011, 5:32

        @HounslowBusGarage,

        This is not how copyright works… I can make a pencil and call it the F-150, or a bicycle called the 458 red single seater etc etc and I will be within my legal rights to do so as i am making something with a similar name, BUT that does not compete directly and/in the same field as Ford or Ferrari. Only, in rare instances, if I were explicitly making profits by giving appearance to a link between my pencil and the Ford name, or bicycle with Ferrari, would I then be liable for any damages.

        That said, as others have said, a non-commercially available, single-seat, front and rear winged, only comes in red, never to be found in nascar, only on closed course, beautiful racing machine IS NOT EVEN CLOSE to a big boring 4wd (optional) american truck… in fact the F150 Italia would never even see American soil!

        I hate to say it, but I hope Ford fails this year for being such ignorant arrogant americans.

      • Copyright of What???? One is a F1 racing car with illustrious history and the other one… MOFO pick up truck as unreliable as any american product!!!
        I mean, how demented is Ford management to bring such a lawsuit as this one?
        Gosh, I had great respect for the this great country, USA, but now… I just shake my head.
        The name was to last for a racing year and that’s it!!

      • Not only would it create a precedent that could start in motion a condition in which Ford would lose their copyright of “F-150″, it could set a stage where a direct competitor in their core US market could use the F-150 name. Keep in mind that Fiat not only has an ownership stake in Ferrari, it now has a controlling ownership interest in Chrysler. A future “high performance” version of a Dodge pickup could end up being called the “F-150″ on the grounds that its not referring to the Ford truck its referring to the race car of its corporate sibling.

  3. ripthisjoint said on 10th February 2011, 13:49

    hahahahahahhahahah this is turning out to be such a joke

    • HounslowBusGarage said on 10th February 2011, 20:31

      HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!
      I’ve just found the biggest joke of all. I thought I’d see if anyone had actually bothered to file a trade mark in the EU for F-150 . . . so I went to the Intellectual Property Office and lo and behold that on 01 Feb 2011, the Ford Motor Company of Dearborn, Michigan, USA filed applications in Class 12 (Motor Vehicles)to cover the UK and the whole of Europe.
      Previously, they only had trademark in Germany. In the US, it’s trademarked in every way of course. But over here, the lazy sods only bothered to trademark it to Germany!
      Of course, Ferrari should have bothered to do a Europe-wide search which would have revealed the German registration (and alerted them to the US registrations), but that’s another story.

      • sam3110 (@sam3110) said on 10th February 2011, 21:36

        Surely F-150 and F150 are different things?

        I’m not saying I can now make a rear engined sports car and call it the 9-11, that would be silly, but the hyphen makes all the difference!

        • HounslowBusGarage said on 10th February 2011, 22:06

          Not sure that any registration authorities accept punctuation marks as registerable marks. They are all tending to go with the way things sound however they are spelled, so unless you can claim a unique sound for a hyphen . . .
          I’ve recently tried to register a name including the figure 4 as opposed to the spelled out version “f o r” but the IPO now take into account ‘text’ language and so it was refused.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th February 2011, 7:45

        There goes the argument of the F1 car never getting into the US. By now I am pretty convinced, that Ferrari/Fiat named this specifically as they were awaiting a future use of this brand by Ford worldwide and want to take precautions by lessening the brand.

        If Ford would launch a car with the F-150 brand in Europe, Fiat would be able to counter that.

  4. Ned Flanders said on 10th February 2011, 13:54

    That is a rubbish name. Why are they so stubborn about including the reference to Italy?? I know politics in Italy are messed up but surely the Italian people aren’t going to elect Montezemelo just because he’s gone all patriotic?…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th February 2011, 13:58

      Why not name it just I(taly) 150, if Monti is so keen on the politics?

      • yea, or 150F? 150th is weird. It’s time for Ford to let it go, it’s been 50 years. However, I was glad to see that Ferrari wasn’t fighting it, it’s not worth it.

        Do you guys have Ford F-150 trucks in Europe, I don’t recall ever seeing one there. They’re everywhere here in the states, actually they are great trucks, if you need a truck.

      • Brian Baum said on 10th February 2011, 14:48

        Hold on… If Ferrari named it the i150, they would be sued by Apple.

    • Since they named it F150, they have to keep a relation between the two names, to identify the two cars as the same one.
      But this name is horribile, at least remove the ‘th’ from 150. This is a mess, it’s too late to rename a car, they should have thought of that before.

    • Dobin1000 (@dobin1000) said on 10th February 2011, 15:25

      I hope they do – with Berlusconi looking more and more likely to either have to escape to South America or end up in prison the world needs another crazy leader to entertain them in these troubling times.

      Imagine what the Horse Whisperer would have to say about other countries, not just soft drink manufacturers!

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 10th February 2011, 17:05

      I agree Ned. Can we all agree just to call it the Italia? That’s what I’d have done if I were Ferrari, it has a much nicer sound to it and that helps link it to their 458 road car.

      To expound upon this thought, wouldn’t it be neat if F1 cars actually had proper names? What do you guys think?

      • Burnout (@burnout) said on 10th February 2011, 19:06

        To expound upon this thought, wouldn’t it be neat if F1 cars actually had proper names? What do you guys think?

        It’s come up before. The problem with giving F1 cars proper names is that you need a new one every year. Plus, all these cars are “prototypes” since teams usually make less than 10 a year. I don’t think anybody gives a prototype a proper name.

      • SoerenKaae (@soerenkaae) said on 10th February 2011, 21:12

        Kate is a proper name, though it is only for a chassis. And dont forget her dirty sister or Mandy.

  5. BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th February 2011, 13:55

    I suppose they will next be announcing in a by the way matter, that it was always ment to be said like that.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th February 2011, 15:12

      Now that announcement has already come! Wonderfull creative thinking Ferrari. As if someone buys that.

      Still should have just picked something else as a name. They would hardly have enjoyed being mistaken for a truck in the US.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 10th February 2011, 16:08

        I suppose it might just be credible enough that they can get their lawyers to claim it and make ford stop going to court to keep a record of having defended their trademark. A bit silly, but the issue doesn’t deserve much more :)

    • 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.

      Ridiculous. I am a Ferrari fan, but I don’t like this attitude of regarding everyone as stupid. No, F150 wasn’t short for F150th Italia, it is just a reason to tell the world they were right in the first place, whilst they weren’t.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th February 2011, 15:53

        And they are wondering why quite a lot of fans don’t like the way they tick.
        This is pathetic, isn’t it, why not just tell the world they wanted to do something nice for Italy, but never thought about a truck, as it is so far from their scope. Then name it something sensible.
        Now that would have been a gutsy move.

        The only part of that message I like is them quoting, that there are certainly no plans for sale of the model.

        • Hairs (@hairs) said on 10th February 2011, 18:23

          As usual, Ferrari’s pride comes before any sort of logic or sense.

          It would have been so, so easy to turn this around, rename the car, avoid the lawsuit, and massively take the pee out of Ford at the same time.

          Instead, Ferrari manage to turn themselves from blameless victims of po-faced corporate behemothism into bungling, toungue-tied, red-faced idiots.

      • Hare (@hare) said on 11th February 2011, 3:24

        Yup, that pretty much sums it up. When I was a kid, that attitude was considered a bad thing…. I got it knocked out of me :)

  6. And i look forward to celebrating my GT40th birthday

  7. Honestly, the only similarity between the Ford F150 and the Ferrari F1 is the fantastic gas mileage both vehicles offer!!!

  8. ajokay (@ajokay) said on 10th February 2011, 14:20

    I always prefer road cars with Names over Numbers. Gimme a ‘Zonda’ over a ’911′ any day.

    I wish more F1 teams would ‘name’ their cars, rather than ‘number’ them

  9. matt88 said on 10th February 2011, 14:30

    F150th? Why not just F150-I or something else? the “th” is not even Italian…

  10. Why didn’t they call it the 150F?

  11. Aetost said on 10th February 2011, 14:41

    According to the ESPNF1 article, Ford says:

    “Ferrari has misappropriated the F-150 trademark … in order to capitalise on and profit from the substantial goodwill that Ford has developed”

    I understand that the copyright stuff is “serious business” and that Ford is keen to protect one of its most successful brand names, but to claim that a Ferrari racing car wants to “capitalise on and profit from” a Ford truck is downright hilarious!
    I suspect that Ferrari couldn’t care less about anything Ford…

    • to claim that a Ferrari racing car wants to “capitalise on and profit from” a Ford truck is downright hilarious!

      Agree!

      I suspect that Ferrari couldn’t care less about anything Ford…

      They changed name immediately, not even responding or trying to prove their reasons, so yes.

    • matt88 said on 10th February 2011, 15:02

      it is reported that since 1997 the “F-150″ trademark has brought over 180 billion dollars to Ford. now i understand the reason why Ford are so afraid of a “Ferrari F150″.

    • It’s boilerplate that’s required in this case. They MUST go after brand name similarities, even if it’s absurd. It is REQUIRED, OR THEY WILL LOSE THE RIGHTS TO THE BRAND. It doesn’t matter that it’s baseless; they are REQUIRED TO DO IT because of the way copyright law works.

      Is this so difficult to understand?!

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 10th February 2011, 16:37

        But it isn’t really true – you do not have to go to ridiculous length to crush anything that could be construed as infringing on the trademark, it just has to be clear that in the selling of consumer cars, F-150 is a certain ford truck.

        Since this is about a very limited prototype open seater race car without any intention in sight of it ever being sold, let alone in numbers – Ferrari prefers to loan out it’s previous F1 cars in their own events where they fully control how, where, and by who they are run – it would make anyone trying to use it to defend actually infringing on a ford trademark probably punished with contempt of court.

      • Maciek said on 11th February 2011, 2:50

        It’s not a question of understanding – perhaps more one of questioning whether copyright laws should be that powerful and, if what you say is accurate, that binding. Let’s not forget that legal systems are constructed, not somehow given. Just because they are a certain way doesn’t mean they should be. There’s certainly no harm in questioning how they work, especially in cases that wouldn’t come up if corporate teams of lawyers didn’t exist. Well, and that whole globalisation thing, too. Anyhoo, I think that both the companies acted just plain stoopid. Ford for threatening to sue and then Ferrari’s choice of replacement name – oy!

  12. Tombong said on 10th February 2011, 14:46

    150th Italia??? it’s a silly name. i guess even in italian it doesn’t sound exotic at all

  13. Rick DeNatale said on 10th February 2011, 14:47

    Hmmm

    My Italian isn’t that good, but shouldn’t it be F150isimo Italia?

    • matt88 said on 10th February 2011, 15:04

      in Italian is ‘centocinquantesimo’ and as an ordinal number it is usually F150°. Alternatives could be F150o or (but it is rare) F150mo.

    • F150esimo Italia would be very poor for a name, becuase it makes it look as if it’s the letter F that is celebrating its 150 years!
      To be called like that it would have to contain the word Anniversary, F150esimi Anniversario Italia, but that would suck even more. F150° Italia is fine, or F150th Italy, but I always liked names such as F2008, that can be read in every language (Italian: effe duemilaotto, English: F two thousand and eight).

  14. schwag said on 10th February 2011, 14:49

    What a relief!
    I was worried about not being able to tell the difference between a Ferrari F1 car and a pickup truck.

  15. I thought Ford named their truck “F-150″, can’t Ferrari named it “F150″? Will that make a difference?

    Or how about 150F?

    • Ferrari tend to put the F before the number (F310, F2008, F60, F10..), so putting it at the end would be a great difference for them. But maybe calling it F150-I (the 2003 car was called F2003-GA (Gianni Agnelli)) could have been a better solution. But this way they couldn’t have said that F150 was an abbreviation of the full name.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 10th February 2011, 20:23

        But they didn’t need to, the fact they did is a bit condescending really. Or perhaps something lost in translation, i.e. “original” = “original meaning”?

        In any case they could have called it F2011 Italia150, as you say there there is present for such a designation!

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