Aston Martin files suit: Will ex-design director live to "die another day?"
Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. filed suit in a federal court in Los Angeles, alleging Henrik Fisker, a former Aston Martin design director created a "Thunderbolt" prototype for a $400,000 GT coupe and that the prototype is an unauthorized copy of Aston Martin's iconic sports cars. The Aston Martin cars are well-known for being featured in James Bond movies and have been used in the movies for the past 50 years.
Fisker is also the co- founder of the failed maker of electronic cars that bore his name. He unveiled the GT coupe prototype at an auto show in Florida. The V12 coupe is only available by special order through a Los Angeles-based Aston Martin dealer.
The Complaint alleges that Fisker's prototype features minor variations of Aston Martin's trademarked design features, including the wings logo and side vents. They also allege that Fisker's purported plan to sell a production version that did not include some of those features is a classic "bait-and-switch" scheme.
Aston Martin said, "Fisker's bad-faith intent to free-ride off the
tremendous goodwill associated with the famous Aston Martin
mark, wings logo, side vent mark, and Vanquish mark could not
be more transparent."
Fisker maintains that the prototype is based on the Aston Martin Vanquish. The Vanquish model was featured in the 2002 Bond movie "Die Another Day." But Aston Martin claims that Fisker used an earlier-generation DB9, or DBS, model as "donor" for the Thunderbolt and only claims it was based on the Vanquish to link it to Aston Martin's newer, high-end model by that name.
The case is Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. v. Fisker, 15- cv-02247, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).