Ferrari loses rights to Testarossa name in Germany

A 1990 Ferrari Testarossa with its famous side strakes | Barrett-Jackson
A 1990 Ferrari Testarossa with its famous side strakes | Barrett-Jackson

In a surprise decision, a German court has ruled that Ferrari does not have exclusive rights to the name Testarossa, allowing a toy company to use the famed moniker for a number of its products.

As a result, the long-held Ferrari nameplate -– Italian for “red head” as in the crimson color of the cars’  valve covers –- could soon appear in Germany on a variety of consumer products, from electric shavers to bicycles. So one might shave in the morning with a Testarossa, then drive a Testarossa into the office.

A 1956 Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa was a British concours winner | Salon Prive
A 1956 Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa was a British concours winner | Salon Prive

The toy company, Autec AG, contended that Ferrari had abandoned the name since it had not produced a Testarossa since 1996. Ferrari countered that it still uses the name for parts and services.

The decision could have implications beyond Germany’s borders and, if applied internationally,  Testarossa could be used by just about anybody. In the future, there could be such things as Testarossa cellphones, Testarossa sports jackets, Testarossa toothpaste or Testarossa chocolate-chip cookies.

Naturally, Ferrari is expected to appeal. The Modena automaker first used the Testa Rossa name as two words in 1956 for its spectacular 500 TR sports-racing roadsters, and for subsequent Testa Rossa racers and Spyders built into the 1960s. Nowadays, they are among the world’s most-valuable collector cars, selling in the eight figures at auction.

The Testarossas most-familiar today are the V12 coupes produced in two series from 1984 through 1996. About 10,000 of them were made.

5 thoughts on “Ferrari loses rights to Testarossa name in Germany”

  1. When will you ever not think of “the-car” in the exclusivity of “that name”? Apart from a company wanting to extract royalties from a chocolate chip inside some cookiedough, the name is much more than that. It will always conjure up a vision of that unique, one of a kind, vehicle.
    Share the joy of an iconic name – think of your raised profile! Don’t spoil it Ferrari.

  2. EXACTLY the point. Any product regardless of its quality, ethics, or value will forever be associated with the Ferrari name and heritage.

  3. I’m not surprised at all! Germany has been making horrible decisions lately, the head of the country is in self destruct mode.

  4. Hard to believe this happened, but Germany is such a mess now. What would happen if someone in Italy challenged Carrera? Obviously Porsche has not abandoned that nameplate. Hope Ferrari’s appeal will prevail

  5. What is happening in this world!? There’s no more values and anything with most young people being selfish selfish and just thinking of what they think and not what is right. There’s no more class and many young people have no more self built or inherited character. Respect people who come through with a great product and name it the way they want. Not to have other people steal the name iit’s very low character. Next person probably will be Henry Ford for naming his great product after his last name and have people say Ford stands for fix or repair daily.Grow up entitlement generation have respect for things people and other things in life that are much richer than money alone.

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