Report: Chrysler legal turns into schoolyard bully over use of Ram logo *UPDATE

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.

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