>From IndyCar media relations
Championship Auto Racing Teams Files Lawsuit To Keep IndyCar Name And Logo
DETROIT (April 1, 1996) -- Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (CART) today served a complaint in the lawsuit it has filed to seek a ruling confirming its continued use of the IndyCar name and logo. The dispute stems from a letter received by CART on March 19, 1996, from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), in which IMS purported to terminate CART's further use of the IndyCar name and logo.
The service mark in question was adopted by CART in 1991, and CART filed for trademark protection at that time. Subsequently, after a long term license agreement was signed with IMS in 1992, the trademark application was assigned by CART to IMS, and CART retained the exclusive right to use the IndyCar name and logo.
No question about CART's right to use the mark was ever raised by IMS until the March 19, 1996, letter.
It is CART's view that it has fulfilled all of its requirements under the agreement with IMS, and that the attempt by IMS to terminate CART's right to use the IndyCar name and logo is without merit.
Based on the action taken by IMS, CART felt it is in the best interest of all concerned to secure a timely confirmation of its trademark rights under the agreement. In addition to CART, many sponsors, promoters, teams, licensees, etc., are presently using the IndyCar mark.
The suit, brought in part under the Lanham Act, essentially seeks a prompt judicial determination of the rights of the parties involved. The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The Honorable John O'Meara has been assigned to hear the matter, although no hearing has been set.
CART intends to make no further comment on the matter at this time.