Ford Threatens Ford Fans

Hi guys!
I am a member of this website Basicly a Ford Ranger fan site where people could meet and talk about their Rangers, I just received this in my email, What do you guys think?

Dear Member,

I apologize for this email.  I don’t normally email the members but this is an emergency.

Today, (December 9, 2008) I received a letter from the law offices of Howard, Phillips & Andersen that represent the Ford Motor Company.  Ford is forcing us to surrender the name ‘’ to them and stop using it.  Ford states that using the name ‘Ranger’ when used in reference to the Ford Ranger is a trademark violation.  In addition they are wanting me to pay them $5,000.

As you may know, The Ranger Station has been around for the past 10 years and has been a valuable resource to Ranger enthusiasts.

If Ford does this to us, where will they stop?

I have 10-days to surrender the name and pay them $5,000. I’m asking that you contact Ford online and ask them to reconsider making us change our name and prohibiting us from using the word ‘Ranger’.

You can contact them at: … licAffairs

a sample of what one of the members wrote is:

"To whom it may concern:

I am writing concerning your recent legal attacks on various “fan” websites for vehicles such as the Mustang and Ranger. I am insulted by this careless misuse of our legal system and am reconsidering any further vehicle purchases from your company until you cease and desist from any further legal action concerning this subject. I have been a Ford owner for many years and I had hoped to stay that way. These attacks are morally wrong since they are geared towards your customers, and do not instill the least bit of confidence in your brand. For the sake of your business, I ask you to please reconsider immediately.

Thank you."

Thank you for your support and I apologize for this email.

Jim Oaks

Apparently it isn’t just Ranger Fans

Holy poopy pants.  I haven’t been to TRS in a while, but that used to be my favorite hangout! Just look at the nick name :smile:

Dammit Ford!

Haha, this isn’t Sasquatch Ryda is it?

Is the word “Ranger” a registered trademark of Ford?

I can’t imagine which agency would let them do it… Just like the turned down Donald Trump when he tried to trademark the “You’re fired” line.

Ford states that using the name ‘Ranger’ when used in reference to the Ford Ranger is a trademark violation

So yes they can do it, I’m just wondering, since they are doing so badly…Why would they attack Ford Fans?? No, I’m not Sasquatch, But I do enjoy the site

Meh - domestic vehicles.  VW has never had an issue with the TDI club online…

Basically defending their trademark, it’s standard.  if they don’t defend the trademark, then it becomes useless.

You can just stop using the name, but I wouldn’t be paying any legal fees.

Really dumb move on Ford’s part, but this is probably just a law firm that trolls the internet looking for these things and makes their money from the “settlements.”  What Ford should be doing is giving fans a license to use their trademark, so they can legally be seen as defending its use while encouraging fans.

Reply to them and tell them that you’re calling your MP and asking that he vote against any bailout package for Ford if they’re going to act like this.

Update: Email from Ford’s Lawyers

Ford is not trying to shut down the entire website, just stop the
counterfeiting of its trademarks. If the Ranger Station wants a license it
needs to seek one from Ford.

But I don’t think Ford will license some of the images, particularly the
naked woman straddling the Ford Blue Oval. See attached.

As you can see, the Ranger Station is not telling the entire story while
seeking your support.

I hope that you will post Ford’s position on the various discussion boards.


Gregory D. Phillips
Howard Phillips & Andersen
560 East 200 South, Suite 300
Salt Lake City, Utah 84102
801-366-7706 (Fax)
-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 11:10 AM
Subject: RE:

So i looks like it is an issue over selling licensed products, verses the name “ranger” in the site name. Hopefully the owner of the site and the law firm can work something out. I don’t think the owner of the website did this with malice.

But I was wondering why wouldn’t they just ask them to remove said merchandise from the website instead of asking for the domain name + 5k?

Here is another case of Ford taking legal action against some more fans…I can understand Fords position, but couldn’t they have a little give? … s-are.html

Well the problem has been solved by a deluge of emails to Ford, Just got this in my email.

As requested by many members, I am sending a new email out about the current issue with Ford.

Again I apologize for this unsolicited email.

Initially, a law firm representing Ford had contacted me wanting me to surrender the domain to TRS and send them a check for $5,000 for damages.

The firm cited our sales of decals that used used the Ford logo or trademark names, our use of ford photos that infringed on Fords trade dress rights, and for the use of the word ‘Ranger’ which was a trade name of Ford.

As far as the photos, I had obtained them from the Ford media site through our TRS media account, so we had a right to use them.

Thanks to the support of our members (and your messages to Ford) I had been contacted by Scott Monty who is head of social media at Ford.

Essentially, it came down to TRS selling decals  with Fords trade names to cover site expenses without a license and Fords responsibility to protect those licenses.

There wasn’t any negotiations required, Scott Monty stated that they did not want us to lose the TRS name and asked that TRS stop selling the unlicensed decals.

We are keeping our name and will not have to submit the $5,000 requested by the attorneys.

Please follow the link below for more details: … hp?t=32874

To read Fords response on our website, please visit: … hp?t=32875

Thanks again for your support. I was told that we had a large showing of support from enthusiasts. I believe your response not only helped clear this up quickly but will actually strengthen The Ranger Station’s relationship with Ford in the future.

I would ask that if you posted this information anywhere on the internet that you direct the discussion to the link I posted above.


Jim Oaks