DETROIT/MILAN (Reuters) - Ferrari will use the full name of its "Ferrari F150th Italia" Formula One car from now on after Ford Motor Co sued the Italian automaker over the use of the abbreviation "F150."
Ferrari's F150 logo was too similar to Ford's F-150 pickup truck, the top-selling vehicle in the United States, Ford said in a complaint filed in at the U.S. District Court in Detroit.
"Ferrari has misappropriated the F-150 trademark in naming its new racing vehicle the 'F150' in order to capitalize on and profit from the substantial goodwill that Ford has developed in the F-150 trademark," Ford said in the complaint.
Ford is asking the court to bar Ferrari from using the name and is also seeking unspecified damages, including damages of $100,000 under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.
Ferrari hit back saying it was "very difficult to understand Ford's viewpoint on the matter" because the car for this season's F1 world championship was given the name to celebrate 150 years of Italian unity and is not commercially available.
"Ferrari believes that its own contender in the forthcoming F1 championship cannot be confused with other types of commercially available vehicle of any sort whatsoever, nor can it give the impression that there is a link to another brand of road-going vehicle," a statement said.
"Despite this and to further prove it is acting in good faith...Ferrari has decided to ensure that in all areas of operation, the abbreviated version will be replaced at all times with the full version, Ferrari F150th Italia."
Ford's rival Fiat SpA has an 85 percent stake in Ferrari, and management control of Chrysler Group LLC, in which it has a 25 percent stake.
(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman and Mark Meadows; Editing by To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)