Ford anti-squatting efforts out of control?

In an effort to better protect the Mustang name, Ford Motor Company has taken to prosecuting companies with names incorporating a Ford trademark, including Mustang and nicknames like Stang and Pony. According to Mustang Monthly, companies that violate the rules are being presented with a letter directing the company to transfer internet domain names containing "Mustang" to Ford, as well as instructions to stop using Mustang in the company name. The letter also reportedly requests that all marketing materials, including brochures, banners, business cards, etc. be turned over to Ford so that they can be destroyed, and also directs the company to cut Ford a check for $5,000 in damages. Companies choosing not to comply could end up in a legal battle with Ford costing in excess of $100,000. Seems a little excessive, but it's within Ford's right and responsibility to protect its trademarks, right?

But what about the collateral damage? What of the companies that will undergo financial harm by halting advertising until the issue is resolved, or those small shops that don't have the marketing budget to reprint all of its materials? And what about Ford's efforts over the years to encourage aftermarket shops to produce product for the Mustang, thereby increasing the Mustang's attractiveness to car buffs looking to customize.

So what's the answer, dear readers? Is Ford going overboard, or is the company rightly protecting its property?

Thanks to Matt for the tip.

[Source: Mustang Monthly]

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