Chrysler Group LLC filed a lawuit Tuesday against Pure Detroit, accusing the clothing retailer of improperly using its "Imported From Detroit" slogan.
"Upon seeing Chrysler's stunning ad, capped off by the powerful tagline, defendants immediately and opportunistically sought to usurp Chrysler's goodwill and exploit Chrysler's investment for themselves. They both copied Chrysler's tagline exactly and used it on some of the very goods for which Chrysler had filed a trademark application, clothing," Chrysler's suit said. "Falsely promoting themselves as an 'exclusive' provider, and promoting their products by touting 'the tagline that is making headlines across America!', defendants have sold huge numbers of T-shirts."
After the company refused, the Auburn Hills automaker said it had "no choice but to bring this lawsuit to prevent (Pure Detroit) from deceiving and confusing the public and harming Chrysler's goodwill."
Chrysler recently expanded its sale of Imported from Detroit merchandise and donates some of the proceeds to charity.
Chrysler's suit names Moda Group LLC, the parent company of Pure Detroit, and owners Kevin Borsay and Shawn Santo.
Chrysler said it applied for a trademark for the use of the "Imported from Detroit" phrase on Nov. 23 in automotive vehicles. It separately applied to register "Imported from Detroit" for clothing, as well as other goods on Jan. 18.
After the Super Bowl on Feb. 6, Chrysler filed for a third trademark on Feb. 8 over a wide variety of additional goods, as well as retail store services.
Chrysler said Pure Detroit agreed to stop selling the shirts with the phrase on its website but has continued to sell shirts at its retail stores.