Ferrari is known for making nice cars for rich people. It also makes very exclusive cars for the super-rich, and it likes to keep those two groups of buyers separate. To prove this, the Italian car maker set out to defend the exclusivity of its La Ferrari-based FXX K, which was being threatened by a German firm that offered a kit to transform your regular Ferrari into the multi-million-dollar monster.
Since 2016, German tuning company Mansory Design has offered a customization kit for the $200,000 Ferrari 488 that mimics the aggressive styling of the $2.6 million FXX K. And, unsurprisingly, Ferrari isn’t happy about this.
The Italian firm challenged the sale of these kits, dubbed the 4XX, in German court.
According to Reuters, Ferrari sued Mansory Design in Germany for making and selling the body kits, which it argued violated its rights to the designs.
Specifically, the case related to the V-shaped section on the hood and the front bumper on the Mansory body kit. These design details appear on the Ferrari FXX K, but not the standard 488. As such, the company argued these details “distinguished the Ferrari FXX K from other cars.”
After the initial trial in Germany, lawmakers turned to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for guidance on the spat.
The European Court ruled in favor of Ferrari and said the firm owned the design right to the appearance of its track-focused FXX K.
The Reuters report explained:
“The CJEU said a component can be considered to be an individual part with design rights if it is ‘a visible section of the product or complex product, clearly defined by particular lines, contours, colors, shapes or texture’.”
After the ruling, Reuters warned that the case could have wide-reaching implication for similar design spats, such as luxury fashion brands that seek to protect their designs from knock-offs.