Judge Rules Detroit Business Can Continue Selling “Imported From Detroit” Merchandise

A federal judge ruled that a small Detroit business can continue selling clothing with the slogan “Imported From Detroit”, despite protests from Chrysler. Chrysler sued over use of the slogan that was made popular by the company’s “Born From Fire” Super Bowl commercial.

The commercial, which featured rapper Eminem driving a Chrysler 200 sedan, debuted the tagline “Imported From Detroit” when it first aired on February 6. Chrysler filed suit when Pure Detroit, a company with three stores in the Detroit, Michigan area, later began selling t-shirts and other merchandise bearing the “Imported From Detroit” tagline.

The Detroit Free Press reports that U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow ruled that consumers would not confuse the Pure Detroit apparel and Chrysler’s vehicles. Because Chrysler couldn’t prove it would “suffer irreparable harm,” Tarnow ruled that Pure Detroit can continue selling the merchandise.

A Chrysler spokesman told the Press that the company is disappointed with the outcome and will pursue other options for protecting the tagline. In March, Chrysler launched its own line of merchandise with the “Imported From Detroit” slogan. Proceeds from the sales benefit several Michigan charities.

Chrysler’s commercial recently earned five awards from the Cannes Lions 58th International Festival of Creativity. It also appears to have been emulated by a German-market commercial for the 2012 Audi A6. Audi’s spot employs similar stylistic angles and shots to the Chrysler ad, along with an instrumental track that sounds strikingly similar to the Eminem song used in the “Born From Fire” spot.

Source: Detroit Free Press

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