Ferrari must accelerate to escape this trademark dispute
Steve McQueen’s family have alleged that Ferrari are profiting from the use of “Steve McQueen’s ionic image and thus should be compensated. The lawsuit was filed this month by two parties who which are both co-owners of Steve McQueen’s right of publicity and trademark rights.
In 2017, the well-known Italian sports car company sold “The McQueen” limited edition model as part of its 70th anniversary. The claim was filed in the Superior Court in Los Angeles where the complainant said that the Steve McQueen car model suggests that it was authorised by the family and that the use of the name “Steve McQueen” made the price more valuable and expensive due to its rarity and uniqueness.
Ferrari accepted this and renamed the model “The Actor” but continued to portray Steve McQueen’s relevance on their website. The family however, was still displeased and did not feel like they were compensated for this alleged unlawful use of the “Steve McQueen” trademark rights.
In this trademark infringement claim, the family intend to seek an injunction against allowing the Italian car company to continue to market the “Steve McQueen”/ “The Actor” car model.
They further want financial damages for which the company managed to make a profit through the alleged unlawful use of “Steve McQueen” trademark.
Not only do they want to prevent the above, but they also want all marketing, advertising or promoting materials which depict Steve McQueen’s name, photograph or likeliness to be removed.
To conclude overall, the court has yet to decide Ferrari’s liability but they must switch gears if they want to escape this alleged trademark infringement.
By Hannah Chapman, a student at Southampton Solent University