The Ferrari 250 GTO is probably one of the Prancing Horse’s most elegant stallions. Only 39 examples were ever made; one even fetched a record-high USD 48.4 million at an auction in 2018.
With that kind of price tag and pedigree, Ferrari opted to trademark the 250 GTO’s unique shape back in 2008. But now it seems that’s not the case, as Ferrari has lost that trademark recently after a design dispute with Ares Design, a coachbuilding company that specializes in making modern interpretations of classic cars.
Ares already paid homage to the DeTomaso Pantera called ‘Project Panther’, and now they want to make a modern interpretation of the 250 GTO using an 812 Superfast as a base. But with Ferrari trademarking the shape of the 250 GTO, Ares Design decided to challenge the trademark.
Taking the issue to the European Union Intellectual Protection Office’s Cancellation Division, Ares argued that Ferrari filed the trademark in bad faith, going as far as stating that the trademark meant blocking efforts to make recreation models. Ares also argued that since Ferrari has not used the ‘GTO’ name for the past five years, this makes it eligible for cancellation.
Ferrari responded to Ares Design’s challenge by stating that the 250 GTO was only produced from 1962 to 1964 and is recognized by many as one of the most iconic cars Ferrari has ever made. By allowing the design of the 250 GTO to be used by others meant that it would devalue the original 250 GTOs since there would be more “examples” out on the road.
“Further, the EUTM proprietor argues that Ferrari’s 250 GTO is destined to a very restricted market of collectors, celebrities and super-rich who can afford to spend millions of Euros to buy such an extra-expensive luxury car,” said Ferrari in a statement.
In the end, the European IPO regulators disagreed with Ferrari’s argument and said that they cannot trademark the 250 GTO’s design if they don’t actually plan on building a new car that looks like it. This…