Another reason Chrysler is in the toilet

Their legal department and PR department are clueless about how to not make the company look like a big, stinking f*cknugget (e.g. they could have let the school license the logo for $100/yr)

UPDATE: When I first read that link, the graphic they had showed the school mascot as a line drawing of the old 1940’s & on logo (an actual Ram’s head).  My thinking was that it is likely that Chrysler still controls the trademark, it’s not in current use and there is little harm in licensing it.  The story has since updated the graphic, and it is obvious that the school jjust ripped off a new Ram truck logo.

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4 Responses to Another reason Chrysler is in the toilet

  1. D.W. says:

    Yep, Chrysler continues to work very hard to put itself out of business…

    I think they’re well on their way.

  2. Bob says:

    Chrysler does have the right to defend its logo, but they might have handled it better. Perhaps just let the school phase it out over a certain length of time (which they might be doing; hard to tell from the article.) Or, they could have reached an agreement with the school to let them continue using it with a license.

    But then, this is Orlando, and Disney world has been suing left and right anytime they find anything looking remotely like copyright infringement. I recall some years back, a preschool out in the boonies had painted their exterior walls with Mickey and friends. Disney didn’t notice until a few years had gone by; when they found out, they sued. It was ugly. Fortunately, a benefactor stepped in and repainted the school for free: Warner Brothers repainted the school with their cartoon characters.

    Thus, Disney has set the standard down there for aggressive enforcement.

  3. 1911Man says:

    No, sorry, that’s incorrect. The issue is not permission or payment.

    A trademark identifies the source and quality of goods. If it loses its ability to do so, it ceases to be an enforceable trademark.

    There is no mechanism by which the school could effectively give Chrysler the ability to monitor or enforce quality standards (on what, you might ask), so even signing a license doesn’t solve Chrysler’s problem.

    So, by (knowingly) copying Chrysler’s trademarked ram logo, the school forced Chrysler’s hand. Chrysler could either be “good guys” and let them get away with it (for free or for $1M, it’s the same), then after a while Chrysler gets to write off the goodwill etc. book value of that trademark, when the mark ceases to mean anything, and then the board, CEO, etc. get to answer to the shareholders, when their quarterly dividend check is suddenly less than it might have been, due to the writedown loss. And then the shareholder derivative lawsuit plaintiff attorneyscum comes out of the woodwork by the hundreds. And Chrysler gets to pay its own outside counsel to fight those battles. And the bottom line takes another hit. Ad nauseum.

    But the “Big Evil Corporation Pees On Nine-Year-Old’s Lemonade Stand” IS a compelling message that speaks to most of us…

  4. MadRocketScientist says:

    I see your point, 1911man, and agree with it to a certain point. But I also agree with bob, they could have found a better way to handle it (if licensing was out, maybe a sponsorship, or some kind of agreement that allows the school to make adequate changes to the logo such that it would be cheap to alter the gym floor without a complete re-do).

    Of course, maybe all of that was discussed and hashed over, and it’s not mentioned in the article (I hate the news sometimes, actually, I hate them most times)

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