Federal judge denies Chrysler’s motion to ban the “Imported from Detroit” tag line

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 28, 2011

Clothier Pure Detroit is permitted to use the “Imported from Detroit" commercial tag line that was used by Chrysler Group LLC in its recent ad, according to a federal judge who denied a motion by the carmaker to prevent the clothier from doing so. Chrysler has made a bid to trademark the phrase, a move that was formally opposed by Pure Detroit.

According to U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow, Chrysler's request didn’t prove that it will suffer irreparable harm or that it was likely to win the case.

This means that Detroit retailer Moda Group LLC, which owns Pure Detroit, could continue to sell its "Imported from Detroit" products. Tarnow cited that Chrysler doesn't own a trademark on "Imported from Detroit" and he also scrapped Chrysler’s reasoning that trademark law can’t be applied to the case.

Last March, Chrysler filed a lawsuit against Pure Detroit and its owners for sales of T-shirts that used the phrase right after Chrysler launched its commercial on Feb. 6 in the Super Bowl XLV. In April, Pure Detroit filed a countersuit, saying that Chrysler doesn’t have a valid trademark since the phrase is descriptive, geographical, and misleading.

It is a fact that Chrysler’s headquarters are in Auburn Hills and that the Chrysler 200, which is the product on the advertising campaign, is built in Sterling Heights.

In relation to this, Moda submitted letters of protest last April on Chrysler’s three trademark applications before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office due to differing uses of the phrase. Suburban Detroit law firm Dobrusin & Thennisch PC is representing the company.

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