• 201
About the same time Chrysler and Fiat executives were running through a marathon eight -hour look into the future with the world's automotive journalists, Pentastar lawyers were working over the principal at Lake Mary High School in Lake Mary, Florida. You may be asking yourself what Chrysler lawyers would want with principal Michael Kotkin when, just six months earlier, The Pentastar needed billions of taxpayer dollars to exit bankruptcy. Good question, for sure, but the answer appears to be pretty lame.
Moto Bullet reports that Chrysler's legal department has been all up in Kotkin's grill because the school's logo is a near-perfect match for the Dodge Ram logo. Team Pentastar ordered has the school to replace the company's favorite goat head as the school logo or risk having to drive a Sebring head into court. Chrysler lawyers even have several photos of the logo being used at the school in several different spots. The Seminole County School District has decided that the logo isn't worth an expensive legal battle, so the school, ranked in the top 1.4 percent nationally for academics, reportedly has until June 15 to remove it from the premises. But while avoiding court will likely save the district plenty of money, the school won't get out of this mess scot-free. Removing the horned-head from the school's gym floor alone will reportedly cost the school (read: local taxpayers) $15,000, or roughly the cost of a new science book for about 300 kids.

We don't want to pretend that we're experts on branding rights and corporate logos, but we just can't see what the harm is to Dodge if the brand and the school share the logo. After all, we're assuming the school isn't going to start making a competitive truck in wood shop. Principal Kotkin is still putting a positive spin on the situation, saying that Chrysler's actions have "galvanized my school," but unfortunately for Team Pentastar, the school's new battle cry sounds something like "I'll never buy a Chrysler as long as I live."

UPDATE: The Chrysler Group got in touch with Autoblog to tell its side of the story, which you can read after the jump.

[Source: Moto Bullet]

The Chrysler Group:
We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to clarify the facts as we believe that the media has not reported the issue very well nor accurately. Chrysler Group has understood from the very beginning the special sensitivity this issue required as there is a school and students involved. Moreover, it is quite apparent that both Chrysler and Lake Mary High School share the same passion and pride for their respective Ram Logo and Mascot. Brands and the trademarks that represent them are among the most valuable assets companies own. We're sure you can appreciate that in order to protect the value of the brand, companies must explore trademark breaches with diligent attention. We equally respect the legitimate trademark rights of others. Given the sensitivity of the issue, we feel that Chrysler Group has dealt with the school very reasonably and with the utmost respect for the school and its students. For example, our dealer has agreed to pay for the design of a new logo for the school, and Chrysler Group has agreed to a longer transition period for the school to complete more involved removals of our logo. Indeed, we are proud to say that Chrysler Group and the school district reached an amicable resolution of this issue in February which we were very pleased with. We remain open to dialogue with the school community on further ways Chrysler Group can help to mitigate the impact of this transition period as we wish for the entire school and district to be lifelong friendly supporters of Chrysler Group going forward as we are lifelong friendly supporters of Lake Mary High School.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 201 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      First I would like to address post# 20. I would like to know how much you are being paid for your inane posts. Please stop! Now I think Dodge has missed the point here. Look at the bad publicity and hard feellings they have created for themselves. Was it worth it? Now if they would have just contacted the school and said something like "We relalize this maybe copyright infringment but we are going to let you use it anyhow" How much good publicity and good feelings would that have created? KA-CHING thats money in the bank people and that what its all about!
      • 5 Years Ago
      For $2500 plus air fare I'll sand off the logo and revarnish the affected area.

      1. Go to HD, buy 1 gal stripper, 1 gal thinner (cleanup), scraper, rags, gloves, mask, masking tape - $100.
      2. Rent sanders (belt and edger), 1 day $120 + $40 for sand paper.
      3. Go to Sherwin Williams, by 1 gal Man 'o War varnish, Purdy 4" brush - $95.
      4. Tape area boundaries. Goal is to leave a rectangular area of clean but varnished wood.
      5. Apply stripper, wait 1 hour, scrape, apply more stripper if needed, wait 1 hour, scrape.
      6. Clean up stripper then wipe down with thinner to remove all stripper. Reapply tape if needed.
      7. Use edger around periphery, belt in the field. Sweep a way the dust, remove tape, wipe down with thinner.
      8. Apply 1 coat of varnish feathering in to adjoining floor, recoat twice per instructions.
      9. Clean up and take sanders back to HD.

      Can do over the weekend. I would have thought the schools maintenance crew could do this. The $15000 quote? Either that is to do the whole floor or it must be a union job.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My guess is they're going to remove planks, then refinish a large section. I'd send the bill to those pricks at Chrysler.
      • 5 Years Ago
      From the parroted Chrysler-bashing, to the poorly reasoned and researched content, to the "oversight" of not actually displaying the graphic in question, but rather a different one - this is more evidence that the quality of Autoblog's posts seems to be going downhill more and more. Granted, not that it was ever great, but still the display of the a DIFFERENT graphic than the one in question seems specifically and willfully misleading. Did the author intend to intentionally lie, or did he just not bother with doing some basic research into the story? Either way, it's junk journalism.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Chrysler's response makes me sick.

      Protecting a copyright and logo is one thing, but pretending that the schools use of a very similar logo will somehow "hurt" Chrysler is utterly ridiculous. Does Chrysler expect that the students will start making cars?

      And I do understand the intellectual property laws that force copyright owners to go after abuses, or lose their rights to those rights. But this is just stupid.

      What's next?...Will Chrysler go after the Tarheels and their ram mascot?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, who ever thought of suing the school at Chrysler needs to get fired NOW!
      The Ram could sell some cars and trucks Dodge. Did they ever think of that!!!
      You have other issues to deal with at Chrysler. Deal with them.
      End of story!!!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's like taking candy from a baby................
        • 5 Years Ago
        You mean the way a non-story was turned into a story by showing the wrong logo at the top of the piece.

        Yes.
      Chasmccart
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the Chrysler Group should change there logo to the other end of the ram.
      It would be more fitting because that is what they are acting like.

      Using someone's trademark logo is illegal.
      I could see if another auto manufacturer used it for a line of trucks they were introducing.
      But having your lawyers persue a school for using it. Give me a break.

      How many customers did they gain because they saw the logo and connected it to their truck? How many will they loose because of this action they took against the school?
      Just another dumb big business decision in a failing company.

      rldjdklilbb
      • 5 Years Ago
      If Chrysler is so concerned about someone using their "logo" and their design, maybe they should outlaw all sheep and ram ( the real ones) from wearing theie own horns. Maybe they should be forced to have them cut off.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My highschool was sued by, and lost to, Timberland.

      I guess they thought people might confuse education for ghetto fashion?

      Dodge should have been allowed to die in the 80s. It would have saved them and us a lot of pain ever since.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Quote: ""Dodge should have been allowed to die in the 80s. It would have saved them and us a lot of pain ever since.""


        You're not much of an auto enthusiast are you.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I find it amazing that you can copyright the image of an animal. Ferrari must be super pissed that Porsche has a prancing horse in their logo, or Ford with the mustang logo. Oh wait, the image of the prancing horse was also significant to the creators of those products as well... not ripped off. (and please don't scour wikipedia to reply with the detailed origins of Porsche's coat of arms, etc.)

      If this high school's team was the Ram's, were they supposed to use a picture of a Ram's hoof? It's tail? The logical choice is of course the head... and it looks much cooler and more intimidating from the front than in profile.

      It's an animal. I don't think this particular breed of animal was created in a proprietary lab especially for Dodge, nor is this the first time in history that a Ram's head has been depicted like this. So WTF are you talking about Chrysler? If you want to get down to specifics, the H.S. logo's horns are proportionally much larger, it's way more detailed (it has eye balls, nostrils, etc), and the tips of the horns are curved inward instead of outward. It's not identical. So again, WTF are they saying? "Pick a different animal, we own this one."?
        • 5 Years Ago
        The problem is that it "was" the exact Ram logo -- admittedly copied and pasted by person who made the new school logo. It wasn't just that it was a Ram. Hell, their old school logo was a ram, but it was totaly different (just like the difference between the horses in the Ferrari and Porsche and Ford Mustang).

        Note in one of the reply posts back further (with a link to the latest on this) -- one of the local Chrysler/Dodge dealers just paid to have a designer do a new logo. It has a Ram, and is fairly similar, but yet, different enough for Chrysler Corp to be satisfied that their trademark has not been stolen.

        It really all boils down to the ignorance of the heads of the school for not saying, " hey, we better check with our lawyers before copying this logo."
      • 5 Years Ago
      Chrysler, S E R G I O listen up. NOT Good. with Social Media, the internet and the general mood of society this is a poor decision. Make it right someone from Chrysler come on the forum and tell us that either management has called off an hyperactive lawyer or even better that Chrysler rather brand RAM is going to donate some vehicles to the school to make it right....
      babytigger68
      • 5 Years Ago
      I feel this time Chrysler is right. Children and the adults in this case need to learn copyright laws. No matter how old or intelegent the people are. If these kids are allowed to bend the rules in high school then that opens them up to future trouble. The school needs to be the "teacher" here and send a message to the kids that using copyrighted materials is illeagal and not tolerated. Instead they are making it Chryslers fault. This is not a good mesage being sent to the youth of our country.
    • Load More Comments