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Ford Claims Hyundai Dealer Plays Dirty

TAMPA (CN) - A Hyundai dealer counterfeited and abused Ford trademarks in a mass mailing in envelopes with the deliberately misleading words "Official Notification for Ford Owners" and "Ford Motor Company 'Bailout' Information Enclosed," Ford claims in Federal Court. Ford claims Hyundai of New Port Richey also used "a fictitious return recipient 'Center for Stimulus Relief'" to deceive and confuse Ford customers.

Ford accuses the Hyundai dealer of counterfeiting and violating trademarks and unfair competition. It claims the Hyundai dealer sent the mailers to the Tampa metropolitan area in December 2008.

"Defendant's mailing creates the appearance that it is an official Ford communication. Further, defendant's mailing is targeted to Ford vehicle owners, and in fact, states that an offer contained in the mailing is 'Exclusive to Ford Motor Owners.' Yet defendant is not authorized by nor affiliated with Ford. ... Defendant's used of the Ford Marks is clearly intentional and calculated to deceive consumers."

Ford demands an injunction, statutory and treble damages and punitive damages. It is represented by Susan Tillotson Bunch with Thomas & Locicero.

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