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Old 12-10-2008, 11:49 AM   #1
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Ford is desparate!

Looks like Ford is trying to find new ways to stay afloat.

Looks like a Ford Ranger enthusiast website (The RangerStation) is being told by Ford to change their name and pay $5000 in damages to Ford Motor Company or risk a lawsuit since they're using the name Ranger in their web address. Oh, and they want it by the 19th of this month. This just popped up yesterday, and I found out about it by a cross-post to ClassicBroncos.com. I can only assume it's a matter of time before Ford comes after that site. I e-mailed Ford public relations with my opinions as requesed by someone at TheRangerStation.

http://www.therangerstation.com/forums/ ... hp?t=32801

Looks like Ford has gone after others too. Here's a story about the Mustang community.

http://www.michiganmustang.com/fordattacks.html

What a sad state of affairs for a company looking for billions of taxpayer dollars.


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Old 12-10-2008, 12:08 PM   #2
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This is worse than sad, but it does employ dozens of bored lawyers who otherwise would have to do useful work.
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:18 PM   #3
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F'n f'n f'rs!! Damn that pisses me off and I don't even have a Ranger. First off, the only group that might have a valid claim against that site is the USFS for calling it Ranger Station (I'm joking of course). What a bunch of thugs. Then to add insult to injury, to demand $5k AND the domain name is beyond outragous. This is a very, very abusive use of the leagl system in my opinion. Although I do not care much for the ACLU, this is something that perhaps they should get involved in.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:16 PM   #4
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Damn thats a bunch of crap, but i guess they have their right to do that.

Aren't they one of the big 3 that is refusing to take any bailout money? I thought i heard that they wanted to see if they can survive without accepting any help.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:23 PM   #5
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Well, I'm still plowing throught the over 60 pages of posts on TheRangerStation, and the growing consensus there is that this "law firm" just tries to intimidate website owners with their websites built around the use/love of a particular product, and extort money out of them. Looks like they have a history of the same tactic with at least a Porsche related site and a VW related site.

Quite possibly, they don't actually have a business relationship with any of the companies they claim to represent. Seems to almost be a bounty on unofficial websites that the less than scrupulous law firms go after. Makes me sick.

Bottom line: this may not be Ford's doing. My apologies to them if that is the case.


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Old 12-10-2008, 01:26 PM   #6
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If I owned theRangerStation is would become a D&D site or a tribute to Aragorn or something.

I can't believe they are wasting money on this. We should all pry off our blue ovals and send them to Ford.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:28 PM   #7
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Same firm pulled the same crap in the VW market: http://www.chillingeffects.org/
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:15 PM   #8
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More to the story

Ford's response:
Dear Jim,

Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention. Without question, Ford enthusiasts are extremely important to us. Their enthusiasm and loyalty are part of our heritage and part of what's going to keep us moving forward.

Recently, there was an item posted stating that Ford was requesting TheRangerStation.com to turn over its URL to Ford and pay $5,000. We'd like the opportunity to share some additional facts that might make a difference in how you think about this situation.

In its communications, TheRangerStation.com stated that Ford was making them change the name of their site and pay $5,000. What was not mentioned was that TheRangerStation.com was selling counterfeit Ford-brand merchandise on the site. As a company, Ford has a responsibility to protect our brand and a responsibility to our licensees. We cannot let something like that pass. (The counterfeit goods have been removed from the website since TheRangerStation.com got the letter from Ford's attorney.)

Please know that Ford takes no joy in pursuing enthusiast sites. Since there are a number of sites out there with Ford vehicles as part of their names or URLs, some people have asked if they should be concerned. Ford has been and continues to be willing to license its trademarks for use by enthusiast groups and enthusiast websites. Requesting a license is done easily by contacting tmgroup@ford.com. To request a license to produce or sell branded merchandise bearing Ford's trademarks, contact branduse@ford.com.

In short, we are not asking for $5,000 and we would like TheRangerStation.com to keep the domain name. We simply encourage TheRangerStation.com to contact Ford to request a license to continue using the domain name.

We hope you will share this information with anyone who is concerned. We deeply appreciate our fans’ dedication and enthusiasm and want to be able to work together with all of our supporters to tell the Ford story.

Scott Monty
Global Digital Communications
Ford Motor Company



TheRangerStation founder's [Jim] response:

A while back I had started making decals such as the old FORD tailgate letters, and offering some other decals for Ranger enthusiasts such as the Ranger windshield banner with the Ford logos on each side of it.

Although it was intended to be used as a way to keep The Ranger Station up and running and not a method of becoming independently wealthy...it was vilolating Fords trademarks.

I have talked to Scott Monty from Ford Motor Company and have agreed to:

1) Stop selling the decals since I do not have a trademark license to sell

2) Agree that the 'Ranger' is a product of Ford.

3) Not display any ads on The Ranger Station that would promote a competitor (Example: Banner ad for the new Chevy Colorado, etc)

4) Not use the site to make disparaging comments about Ford (AKA - Anti Ford Site)

5) Not turn The Ranger Station name over to anyone else.

I believe that's about it. I'm waiting from a letter from their attorney.

In return, Ford will allow us to keep The Ranger Station name and will not require that I pay the $5000.00 that the attorneys were asking for.

Scott went on to tell me that they recognize and support their fan websites and I would suggest that any other website owner/administrator reading this will be OK if they judge themselves on the items I had listed above. If you have ad banners you may want to make sure you have Fords competition filtered out.

I would like to say thanks to those that emailed Ford and spread the word. The attention and support from other enthusiats greatly helped in getting this resolved quickly.

I would ask that anyone who has posted about this on another website link the discussions here and ask that the moderator on that site lock the topic.

I also want to thank the other site owners for their support.



Seems like the founder of the Ranger Station wasn't the most forthcoming with the fact that he had been selling unauthorized Ford logo decals. At the same time, I don't see why the lawyers in question didn't just pursue that wrong-doing, rather than talking about shutting down the website. Looks like all parties involved made this situation much harder than it needed to be.

I'm sorry if I prematurely blasted Ford.


Herb

P.S. So Jage, do you have a license agreement to use the term Sportsmobile?
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:34 PM   #9
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I'd have to agree the Ford logo deal was a no-no, but Ford was using a sledge hammer to deal with a fly. Again, I saw a lot of this happening in the VW world (some justified. For example, pedal pads with a VW logo on them (which anyone can still buy in Baja)), but much was not justified in my humble opinion. The way that law firm handles it makes my skin crawl.

As far as this site and SMB, I can't imagine Jage would have to worry about it. The folks at SMB all seem very cool.
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:53 PM   #10
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Wow glad I didn't get that SMB Forum tatoo...I'd have to chop off my arm. So I guess the Forum hat is toast???
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