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Ford Motor Co. – Trademark Bully — NOT!

It appears that Ford Motor Company got unfairly slammed here a few days ago. I got a blog comment from Whitney Drake at Ford Communications. I feel that this deserves its own blog entry — not a mere “comment.”

It seems that Cafe Press is to blame. Apparently Ford is all for the Black Mustang club’s efforts.

To Ford, I issue a retraction and reproduce their defense in its entirety.

Whitney Drake | | | IP:

My name is Whitney Drake and I work in Ford Communications.

We’ve been watching this discussion with interest and I’d like to clarify what is essentially a misunderstanding.

Yesterday we spoke to both Cafe Press and the Black Mustang Club and explained the situation (about the Black Mustang Club’s calendar) to everyone’s satisfaction. Ford has no problem with Mustang or other car owners taking pictures of their vehicles for use in club materials like calendars. What we do have an issue with are individuals using Ford’s logo and other trademarks for products they intend to sell. Understandably, we have to take the protection of our brands and licensing very seriously.

Ford did not send the Black Mustang Club a “cease and desist” letter telling them that they could not use images of their own cars in their calendar. The decision not to allow the calendars to be printed was made by Cafe Press, because we had gotten in touch with them in the past about trademark infringements on products they sold.

The Black Mustang Club, and any other Ford enthusiast club, are free to take pictures of their own vehicles for use in calendars or other materials as long as they don’t use Ford trademarks in products that will be sold.

I think it is great that the Black Mustang Club, and any other enthusiast club, would take pictures of their own vehicles for use in calendars or other materials.

I’m looking forward to purchasing a copy to hang in the garage next to my Mustang (even if mine isn’t black).

Thanks for giving us the chance to have our say.

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