Ford Motor Company has officially and unconditionally conceded its complete,
utter, and perpetual loss on the merits of the FORD v. 2600 "FuckGeneralMotors.com" case.
Ford has dismissed its appeal to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals,
meaning that Ford has completely given up all attempts to reverse the
victory that 2600 Enterprises won on December 20, 2001. The mutually agreed
dismissal papers were officially entered by the Sixth Circuit on June 27,
In the words of another FORD from Michigan -- former President Gerald Ford,
"Our long national nightmare is over."
2600, which has given up nothing other than an extremely improbable claim
for getting its attorneys' fees back from FORD, has expressly reserved the
right to point "FuckGeneralMotors.com" anyplace whatsoever that 2600
pleases -- including at the FORD homepage -- at any time whatsoever, with or
Of course, the plan in March, 2001, when the lawsuit arose, was to point the
address someplace more suitable than the FORD homepage, probably as soon as
mid-April or early May, 2001. In other words, the lawsuit has actually
delayed 2600's prior plans (several other domain names that were part of the
same project have been re-pointed several times, while FuckGeneralMotors.com
has remained pointed at FORD). Now that the lawsuit has been won, 2600 will
be soliciting suggestions during the H2K2 conference, for the best place to
point the Domain Name. Ultimately, this just proves how silly and
counterproductive FORD's litigation strategy always has been from the
In December, 2001, Judge Robert Cleland of the Eastern District of Michigan,
dismissed FORD's lawsuit in its entirety for "failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted" -- which means that even assuming every single
allegation in FORD's pleadings to be true (but the allegations weren't all
true), FORD still had no legal right whatsoever to prohibit 2600 from
pointing FuckGeneralMotors.com at FORD's homepage.
Needless to say, FORD did not like that outcome. Neither did a lot of other
intellectual property interests all over the world. Indeed, a google search
will reveal a number of PowerPoint(tm) presentations published on the Web
(e.g., http://austlii.edu.au/ hkitlaw/resources/Pun_IP.pdf) by various
intellectual property lawyers, emphasizing that the decision is being
appealed. Well, now it isn't.
The decision stands. It is published at 177 F. Supp. 2d 661. And it is
binding precedent. The decision has even been cited by the Sixth Circuit
already, in an interim order that was issued in the "TaubmanSucks" case
handled by Paul Levy of Public Citizen. http://www.citizen.org/documents/TaubDecision-3-11-02.pdf .
When FORD filed its appeal to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in
January, 2002, FORD sought to have the case reinstated so that FORD could
take it to trial. 2600 filed a cross-appeal, solely on the issue of whether
FORD should be required to reimburse 2600 for its legal bills (such fee
awards, in cases under the Lanham Trademark Act, are not especially common
and occur only in "exceptional" cases -- so the Sixth Circuit was likely to
defer to Judge Cleland's decision to award 2600 its "costs" but not its
attorneys' fees). 2600 still gets to take its "costs" back from FORD, and
our lawyer is preparing to serve a deposition notice on Bill Ford, to gather
the information necessary to garnish FORD's bank accounts, unless FORD cuts
us a reimbursement check forthwith.
But the key point is that 2600's victory is permanent and FORD has
voluntarily foregone any appeals. The savings, in terms of attorneys' fees,
from our standpoint, are enormous.