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Thread: Replica without being sued?

  1. #1
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    Replica without being sued?

    Anyone know after how many years can your start to replicate a vehicle without a concern for being sued by the company?

    I thought I remember reading back somewhere that after 15 years any production car is faire game?...

    Also if you build a replica for yourself... then after decide to go ahead and sell that replica... are you in copywrite infringement?... like everyone selling their own personal turnkey replica's are infringing on the manufactures original design??

    Or does it only apply to companies selling more then 1 replica turnkey or parts only?...

    How do all these companies other there get away in the "aftermarket" market when they are clearly reproducing oem parts and selling them at a fraction of the original mrsp?

    Just curious if anyone has some ideas or thoughts on the above.

    thanks.

  2. #2
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    MrWalrus, This would be a long answer to broad questions but here is a brief summation. Patents and Trademarks have various lifespans, depending on domestic and/or international and other factors. They can also be renewed, so there is not a singular 15 year answer, there are multiple answers. You can build all you want for yourself, the law says you cannot profit from it, that means even one of them. I cannot comment on the rest, I do not know. Now here is an odd twist to all of this. When Jackie and Carkitinc was sued and lost by a Default Judgment, Lambo won the right in a Federal Circuit Court to seize and destroy any body kit that they had produced (keyword here Federal). Jackie fell on his sword and would not give up the sales list, and in my opinion many in this community owe him a debt of gratitude. Even though it is not against the law to own a replica, had he given up the list, it could have been seized from you with no further court action needed. The last I knew, after the Judgment they were still trying to get a Court Order for the sales list but that was years ago.
    Last edited by 76mx; 06-18-2017 at 01:24 PM.

  3. #3
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    HI all,

    Last I heard, if you wish to make replicas, in the US, you would need to change the look like ten percent to not be sued.....

    thanx,

    Aireek

  4. #4
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    Interesting, I have paid Patent and Trademark Attorneys a lot of money over the past few years and they have never mentioned this to me. Where did you hear this from?

  5. #5
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    From what I have heard... just across the forum here and there, no specifics to list... If you make it as a one off just for yourself, making a copy of an exotic car is not an issue as you are not making any money off of it and is simply considered to be a hobby car.

    However... the moment you start selling the replica's, you begin to infringe on copyright and trademark laws where you open yourself up to a lawsuit.

    My best interpretation of what I think you can and can't get away with.
    It's a never ending battle of making your cars better and also trying to be better yourself. - Dale Earnhardt Sr

  6. #6
    I would think ----- Don't call it a replica, call it a tribute. Don't put the 'copied' cars logo's on it. Don't call it an exact copy pulled from an original and change it just enough that it's not a 100% copy. When showing the car refrain from wearing the originals shirts caps shoes etc... If someone passes by and says "nice (insert OE name here) admit upfront it's a tribute. Most people who have never seen a real one will have that go right past them and continue to believe it's real.

    There are plenty of examples in F-chat and L-chat forums that prove that even the most accurate 'reproduction' or 'recreation' using 100% OE parts is looked upon with distain even if it's a reproduction of a vehicle with historical significance.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by G35Mike View Post
    From what I have heard... just across the forum here and there, no specifics to list... If you make it as a one off just for yourself, making a copy of an exotic car is not an issue as you are not making any money off of it and is simply considered to be a hobby car.

    However... the moment you start selling the replica's, you begin to infringe on copyright and trademark laws where you open yourself up to a lawsuit.

    My best interpretation of what I think you can and can't get away with.
    Yes, if you would like a specific to list, I said the exact same thing three posts ago on this thread.

  8. #8
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    Its simply about money...
    Rule #1. If your building a car for re-sale and it looks like a car you will be sued.
    You can spend all the time and money you want trying to get around Rule #1 and a few have been successful but they are far and few between.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 76mx View Post
    Yes, if you would like a specific to list, I said the exact same thing three posts ago on this thread.
    My apologies. I did not read the thread fully but at least I know now that I was not completely off base.
    It's a never ending battle of making your cars better and also trying to be better yourself. - Dale Earnhardt Sr

  10. #10
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    HI all,

    I apologize for anything misleading!!

    I hope there was no luv lost!! It came from Kit Car Magazines, the knowledge could be 10-15 yrs old actually..... It would be awesum if it were still right!!!

    Thanx,

    Air-ick

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