We can’t let ‘Back to the Future’ day pass without a shout out. Hi there!
This week marks the time that Doc Emmet Brown and Marty McFly exploded into our space-time in Back To The Future: Part II. If you want to be specific, they warped in above Hill Valley, California at 4:29pm on 21 October 2015.
Little did the Doc know that 2015 would also be the year when the car used in the cult movie franchise would be in the middle of a legal battle involving Sally DeLorean (widow of the innovative carmaker, John DeLorean) and Texas-based DeLorean Motor Company. Great Scott, Marty!! This is serious!
DeLorean's widow claimed in a Federal lawsuit filed in the US late last year, that DeLorean Motor Company has been illegally using the DeLorean name and trade marks for years, including to sell hats, stationery, key chains and other items, and had illegally licensed the name and images to third parties including Nike, Mattel, Urban Outfitters and Apple.
In addition to seeking to stop the Company from continuing to use the trade marks, Mrs DeLorean sought damages and a proportion of the Company's profits derived from their (unauthorised) use of the name.
Fans familiar with the movies are probably scratching their heads right now. Didn’t the DeLorean Motor Company design and manufacture the DMC-12 (referred to simply as "the DeLorean"), which was used in the movies? Yes, and no. The DeLorean Motor Company involved in these proceedings is not the same company that was founded by John DeLorean after he left GM in the late 1970’s. Mr DeLorean’s company (of the same name) went bankrupt in the 1980’s. This ‘new’ DeLorean Motor Company, which is not affiliated with the DeLoreans, started operations later as a ‘forum for DeLorean enthusiasts’.
Fast forward and we find that the legal proceedings have recently settled ‘for an undisclosed sum of money’ paid to Mrs DeLorean.
While the DeLorean Motor Company claimed that they had been using the name (and trade marks) for years and Mrs DeLorean hadn’t complained earlier, this is not necessarily a great excuse or a defence if you get sued. All we can say is ‘If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour... you're gonna see some serious sh*t!’