February 17, 2003
GM sues Avanti Motors over knock-off Hummer H2
Detroit, Michigan – General Motors has filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit in the United States District Court in Detroit against Avanti Motor Corporation. The lawsuit alleges that on February 14, 2003 at the Chicago Auto Show, Avanti Motors debuted the Studebaker XUV that knocks off and misappropriates the shape of the “world-famous and incredibly popular” Hummer H2 SUV.
Both the President of Avanti Motors and a Business Week article dated February 17, 2003 refer to the Studebaker XUV as a “boxy, Hummer-like vehicle.”
“It is clear that Avanti Motor Corporation is attempting to profit from and capitalize upon the enormous popularity and goodwill that GM has developed in the wildly successful H2 by knocking off the H2,” said Charles Ellerbrock, a GM trademark lawyer. “GM, however, will not permit others to misappropriate the goodwill that GM has spent tens of millions of dollars developing,” continued Ellerbrock. “Moreover, the Studebaker XUV is so similar to the H2 that the public will be confused by the knockoff of the H2. GM will not allow its world-famous trademark rights to be violated,” concluded Ellerbrock.
In the lawsuit, GM seeks a preliminary injunction enjoining Avanti Motors from manufacturing, advertising, and selling the Studebaker XUV.