Ferrari doesn’t like it when buyers mess with their supercars after purchase. One company, Mansory Design, set out to make a body kit to make the $200,000 Ferrari 488 GTB look more like the exclusive La Ferrari FXX K. The automaker was obviously not thrilled with that but it seems like the case is officially over…for now.
The Ferrari FXX K case against the Mansory 488 GTB body kit has come to an end…for now
Ferrari SpA v Mansory Design & Holding GmbH and WH went to court last week for a ruling. The kit by Mansory is called the Siracusa 4XX, and it comes in the standard body style kit for the Ferrari 488 GTB, the spider, and a soft kit. The Siracusa name comes from the resemblance to the Asian spider Nephilia clavata, which is why Mansory calls the equipment a “true road predator.” It is also thought to bring good fortune.
Ferrari sued the design company in Germany for violating the rights to the designs. According to Reuters, Ferrari won in the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) last week. The CJEU is the top court and ruled that it believes the designs used by Mansory mimic that of Ferrari’s FXX K.
One of the significant design elements involved in the case is the V-shape on the bonnet and front bumper. This “v” shape identifies the FXX K over other vehicles. The court documents for Case C‑123/20 can be reviewed on the official European court site. Per Article 5 of Regulation No 6/2002, “A design shall be considered to be new if no identical design has been made available to the public.”
How the court determined the Mansory Siracusa 4XX infringed on the Ferrari FXX K design
The Ferrari 448 GTB is only around $250,000. Still, the Mansory body kit allows it to resemble the $2.6 million Ferrari FXX K. Obviously, the supercar company says the company violated the rights to the unregistered designs. According to the CJEU, a component such as the V-shape can be an individual part with rights to the design if “a visible section of the product or complex product, clearly defined by particular lines, contours, colors, shapes or texture.”
The case refers to the initial press release from Ferrari dating back to December 2014. Ferrari included two photos in the release, which both show the V shape.
“The Ferrari FXX K exists in two versions, which are distinguished solely by the colour of the ‘V’ on the bonnet. In the first version, that ‘V’ is black apart from its low point, which is of the same colour as the basic colour of the vehicle concerned. In the second version, the ‘V’ is entirely black in colour.”Case C‑123/20 | CJEU
The documents noted that Mansory is known for creating body kits and the “personalization (known as ‘tuning’) of high-end cars.” The body kit offered for the 488 GTB does, in fact, feature the “v” shape.
This case could open a legal can of worms in the future
The court initially dismissed the case brought by Ferrari, which the automaker appealed. After much back and forth, the courts ended up siding with Ferrari over the design. While this case might be over, for now, this could open a can of worms for other companies protecting designs from being ripped off. Since it comes down to the details of the “v” shape on the FXX K, others can reference this case in a similar fashion later on.
Mansory is known for ruining perfectly good cars like the Ford GT40 with body kits, which is funny and sad. It does, however, set a bad precedent for high-end automakers with tons of lawyers going after smaller companies who might infringe on designs. For now, the Ferrari FXX K “v” shape is safe from Mansory.