Purosangue, which in Italian means ‘pure blood’ or ‘thoroughbred’ just happens to be the name Ferrari have chosen for their upcoming SUV; they’re also suing for the rights to use it, which isn’t the least bit surprising if we’re being completely honest.
This time however, Ferrari aren’t suing some conglomerate but rather a charity. Yes, you read that right, the Prancing Horse is fighting the Purosangue Foundation – who’ve been using that name since 2013 – for the right to use its name for its upcoming model. While the automaker doesn’t dispute that the charity trademarked the name first, it does argue that the charity isn’t doing much with the name and will be better served under Ferrari.
The Financial Times reports that the attorney for the Purosangue Foundation, Alessandro Masetti, argued that the foundation’s partnership with clothing giant, Adidas, represents an ongoing use of the brand. The lawsuit is slated to be heard in a Bologna court on the 5th of March.
One can only speculate, but it wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination if Ferrari’s lawyers were to cite the fact that the Purosangue Foundation isn’t well known enough (when compared to Ferrari) and therefore shouldn’t be allowed the exclusive right to the Purosangue name, which is rather grandiose, no?
That said, if you think that line of reasoning is grandiose, then this might reinforce that train of thought. In an interview in 2018 with BBC’s Top Gear, then-chairman Sergio Marchionne – who confirmed the Purosangue’s existence – opted to not call their controversial upcoming model an SUV like everyone else but rather an FUV or Ferrari Utility Vehicle.
On the other hand, Max Monteforte, a running coach and former professional runner who founded the Purosangue Foundation, said: “It is an injustice. Why should we give up our identity? They should have checked first. We are small so it’s hard to defend our brand, but we are doing important work.”
Ferrari has always been quick to take legal action whenever it feels its brand is under threat and has even gone after privately-owned cars such as the time Ferrari threatened legal action against artist Deadmau5 for customising his 458 Italia with custom ‘Purrari’ badges and floor mats. Another example is back in 2011, Ford sued Ferrari for its use of the ‘F150’ name for its 2011 Formula One car. The Italians simply responded by using the full name for that car – the ‘Ferrari F150th Italia’, thus circumnavigating the issue. How Italian.
A spokesperson for the Prancing Horse said the company “does not comment on pending litigation”. Watch this space as we bring you more developments from this story.