Superformance Press Release /February 9, 2001/ - www.superformance.org/supernews - The President of Superformance International Inc, James C Price, today announced that Superformance has filed counterclaims against Caroll Shelby requesting a court order that Caroll Shelby does not own any valid trademark rights which would permit him to prevent the manufacture of replicas of the original Cobra. These counterclaims are in response to a lawsuit filed in Boston by Shelby and his associated companies alleging trademark infringement, dilution and unfair competition relating to Superformance's manufacture and sale of replicas of Cobra cars. Superformance has denied all Shelby's allegations, and has also requested that the court cancel Shelby's alleged trademark registrations on the grounds of their invalidity. Mr. Price stated today:
"We have received a summons and have briefed counsel to defend the allegations, which we categorically deny and believe are spurious. We have already filed counterclaims against Shelby to cancel the registrations of his alleged marks. We have the resources to defend the case, whatever it takes, and we are confident that a court of law will not support Shelby's claims."
The original Shelby Cobra was manufactured from just 1962 to 1967. It was not until 1992, 25 years after ceasing manufacture, that Shelby American, Inc. began producing Cobra replicas. In the interim 25 year period, dozens of manufacturers produced and sold Cobra replicas with Shelby's knowledge. Today, the number of Cobra replicas on the market overwhelmingly exceed the number of original Cobras. In published interviews during the 1980's, Shelby stated that he didn't mind people making "copies of that old car" and that he considered the Cobra replica industry to be a "compliment."
The counterclaims filed by Superformance state that Shelby and Ford have long since abandoned any rights in the Cobra name, the shape of the Cobra automobile, or the designations associated with the Cobra models because of their failure to prevent the widespread use of those names and shapes by replica manufacturers. For more than 24 years Shelby did not produce or sell Cobras or Cobra replicas and stood silently by as an entire Cobra replica industry evolved with his knowledge and acquiescence.
Superformance manufactures a range of component vehicles, including replicas of the 1960's Cobra sports car in South Africa and exports them to North America, Europe and Australia. Superformance's Cobra replicas are produced with the permission of AC Cars, United Kingdom, the manufacturer of the original Cobra body shape since the 1950's. As a matter of fact, AC Cars own and still have the original jigs, bucks and tooling, which neither Shelby nor Ford has any claim to. AC Cars have been building and selling the AC Cobra sports car from the 1950's to this very day. For further information, please contact Ms Lynda Zadra-Symes at (949) 760-0404 or (949) 760-9502.