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Ferrari 250 GTO. "What is a name?"

Ferrari GTO 250

Ferrari has lost trademark rights to the world's most expensive and arguably the most iconic car in its storied history: the 250 Ferrari 1962 GTO.

Although the Ferrari 250 GTO cost just $18.000 new in the United States, a GTO set a new record as the world's most expensive car in 2018 when it sold privately for $70 million.

Create your own GTO


Ferrari lost its trademark of the Ferrari 250 GTO concept by violating the rules of the European Union Intellectual Protection Office (EUIPO). That's a lot of legal talk for "Use It Or Lose It".

The rule, which Ferrari itself has also used in lawsuits against other companies and even charities, was aimed at Ferrari in retaliation by vengeful coachbuilder Ares Design.

A tribute or theft?

Based in Modena, just 20 km from Ferrari's birthplace in Maranello, Ares Design was founded by former Lotus CEO and Ferrari director, Dany Bahar.
Ares Design announced in 2018 that it had planned a limited series of “reinterpretation” of 250 GTOs, each for a smooth price of around € 1 million.
“It's a modern reinterpretation, not a copy,” Bahar explained. The idea was not the only Ferrari reinterpretation of Ares Design, as the company also paid tribute to the relatively unloved 412. But the GTO was a bridge too far.

Ferrari took serious offense and took Ares to a Bolognese court, where the Ferrari 250 GTO was considered an irreplaceable work of art and Ares was dismissed.

Long before that, Ferrari tried to protect its icon by filing a 2008 application with the EUIPO to protect the shape of the 250 GTO. Even though Ferrari had not used that divine lines in a production car since 1964.

'Use it or lose it'

Ares fought back after the setback in Bologna and challenged EUIPO's protection under rules stating that a trademark that has not been used for five years can be canceled. So the 'Use it or lose it' concept.

Understandably, Ferrari sent all its lawyers and attorneys to the upstart in rows of three, but that attack was so firmly rejected that the trademark 250 GTO form now extends only to toys and model cars.

Who wants to bounce ...

Ferrari has been a champion of its own rights and should therefore have been aware of the “use it or lose it” law. After all, her own lawyers used that same clause in the same court to attack the Purosangue (pure blood, literally, but more commonly "thoroughbred") name of the small charity Purosangue Foundation in Italy. Furthermore, Ferrari had protected its trademark by suing everyone from music producer Deadmau5 to fashion designer Philipp Plein, both of whom were Ferrari's regular customers. Ferrari also threatened boutique builder and racer Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus with a lawsuit over his P 4/5 C, but you can't always win.

Mercedes-Benz did better

Mercedes-Benz is better organized in the protection of the 300 SL. A few years ago, a 'replica' manufacturer had to destroy the molds of its 'tribute' with heavy equipment under judicial supervision. And that is actually a shame ...

Also read:
- A Ferrari GTO for 48.000.000
- The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL
- The Ferrari 400 series
- What is in a name? McQueen vs Ferrari

The designation (250) GTO is no longer protected. And this GTO has Datsun 260 DNA. Also nice

2 Comments

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  1. Yes, nice article again. "Bean, wages".

    Bizzarrini designed it, but was dismissed from Ferrari just before the launch of this legend because of a less than optimal working relationship with Enzo Ferrari.
    “The hiccups are nice Enzo” and Bizzarrini then designed the Iso Grifo.

  2. Yes, nice article again. "Bean, wages".

    Bizzarrini designed it, but was dismissed from Ferrari just before the launch of this legend because of a less than optimal working relationship with Enzo Ferrari.
    “The hiccups are nice Enzo” and Bizzarrini then designed the Iso Grifo.

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