4 May 2018Trademarks

DeLorean TM claim against makeup brand concludes

A trademark dispute between a cosmetics brand and DeLorean Motor Company, the manufacturer of the car-turned-time-machine in sci-fi classic “Back to the Future”, has been dismissed.

District Judge Paul Crotty of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the matter without prejudice on Wednesday, May 2, following a request by the parties.

Car maker DeLorean  filed the trademark infringement complaint in February this year. It accused vegan makeup brand  Elysian Cosmetics and its founders, Michael Putman and David Rodrigues, of using the proprietary ‘DeLorean’ trademark.

The ‘DeLorean’ mark, and other marks which include ‘DeLorean’ as an element, are used by the automobile company in connection with its car restoration and retail business. Products featuring the marks include clothing, accessories, luggage, toys, and kitchenware.

DeLorean said its mark became famous when the brand was “unquestionably immortalised” in the “Back to the Future” film, when “Doc Brown converted the DeLorean automobile into a time machine”.

The claim said New York-based cosmetics company Elysian had introduced a DeLorean-branded primer, a product which is applied to the skin before other makeup.

Elysian applied to register the ‘DeLorean’ trademark for use on cosmetics products at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in February 2017.

DeLorean claimed that, in Elysian’s application, the cosmetics company had “falsely affirmed” that its use of the mark is not likely to cause confusion.

The USPTO website shows that Elysian’s ‘DeLorean’ mark was registered in March this year under number 5,429,618.

Crotty’s order said that DeLorean and Elysian had submitted a joint stipulation for voluntary dismissal on Tuesday, May 1. The order confirmed that each party will bear its own costs.

A spokesperson for DeLorean explained that during the litigation, the motor company offered evidence of its continuous use of the 'DeLorean' mark and other marks and, as a result, the parties reached a settlement.

The spokesperson said: "Elysian has agreed to cease its use of 'DeLorean' mark and acknowledges that DeLorean owns the famous 'DeLorean' brand."

Stephen Wynne, CEO of DeLorean, said he is pleased that the dispute has been settled amicably.

“We can now continue, without distraction, to build our business with the knowledge that our rights in the 'DeLorean' brand remain exclusive," he added.

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More on this story

20 February 2018   The manufacturer of the car that was turned into a time machine in sci-fi classic “Back to the Future” is primed to pursue a trademark infringement claim against a luxury makeup brand.
17 October 2018   The widow of the inventor behind the car-turned-time-machine in sci-fi classic “Back to the Future” has been barred from recovering merchandising royalties from Universal Pictures.