Chrysler has sued the owners of Detroit apparel and tchotchke company Pure Detroit for violating the automaker's trademarked "Imported from Detroit" marketing tag line by using it on apparel sold through their shops.
Chrysler's lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, says the company and its owners have:
"sold huge numbers of T-shirts featuring Chrysler's 'Imported from Detroit' tag line. Indeed, by their own admission, the branded shirts have been their ‘best ever' selling product.
They both copied Chrysler's tag line exactly and used it on some of the very goods for which Chrysler had filed a trademark application, clothing. Falsely promoting themselves as an 'exclusive' provider, and promoting their products by touting 'the tag line that is making headlines across America.' "
Chrysler is selling their own line of t-shirts and hoodies and stuff with the logo. The profits from sales are going to charity. Which is very commendable.
We also understand the importance of branding and specifically, the importance of not diluting a trademark or brand, we fail to see how that would be happening here — or why Chrysler would be upset with a company for helping them to market their marketing slogan for them. Especially when it's a Detroit-based company.
But, as Chrysler's Mike Driehorst says on its own blog, this is also an issue of money going to charities. Given that, a better solution, rather than suing this company, would be to have Chrysler license the tagline to Pure Detroit and let them sell merchandise with Chrysler, for Chrysler or alongside Chrysler.
UPDATE: My mistake, Chrysler DID try to reason with Pure Detroit. As Driehorst continues:
"No one likes a legal solution to an issue. It could look like David v Goliath in the Chrysler lawsuit against Pure Detroit. However, do know that we made repeated attempts to work out a non-legal solution with Pure Detroit."
Good for Chrysler for trying to reason with Pure Detroit and boo on Pure Detroit for being unreasonable.