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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This article was in latest Mustang Monthly.

Los Angeles, CA (November 15, 2004) - Denice Halicki filed an amended complaint today in Los Angeles Federal Court, asking the Court to stop defendant Carroll Shelby from branding and marketing his line of high-end, retrofitted Ford Mustangs with the name "Eleanor" from the classic film Gone in 60 Seconds. Ms. Halicki claims that she and her husband, the late filmmaker H.B. "Toby" Halicki, were the first to use the Eleanor and Gone in 60 Seconds marks, and that Mr. Shelby has no right to market Eleanor-branded vehicles and merchandise without her permission. She seeks an order from the Court that would instruct the US Patent and Trademark Office to cancel and invalidate trademarks which she alleges were wrongfully obtained by the Defendants. Ms. Halicki is represented by Jeffrey S. Kravitz with the Los Angeles office of Lord, Bissell & Brook, LLP. Halicki vs. Carroll Shelby International, Inc., Case No. CV04-8813 SJO (PJWx).

Ms. Halicki is the CEO of Halicki Films and filed suit on October 25, 2004 for copyright and trademark infringement of her rights to the film Gone in 60 Seconds and its feature character Eleanor against Carroll Shelby, Carroll Shelby International, Inc. (OTC-CSBI) (Bulletin Board: CSBI), Carroll Hall Shelby Trust and Unique Motorcars, Inc., among others. In February 2004, Ms. Halicki alleges that she discovered that the Defendants were manufacturing and marketing unauthorized motor vehicles which are copies of the character Eleanor featured in Gone in 60 Seconds, and which sell at prices ranging from $90,000 to $150,000 each. She claims that the Defendants have further expanded their exploitation of her Eleanor trademark by marketing bronze scale models of Eleanor and selling them for $5,900 apiece; selling Eleanor clothing; selling posters of Mr. Shelby and Eleanor; licensing Eleanor to Quaker State Motor Oil; and made a race car with the names Gone in 60 Seconds and Eleanor on it.

In 1974, Toby Halicki wrote, produced and directed the original film Gone in 60 Seconds which starred Eleanor, a 1971 Fastback Mustang that he customized to become a Mach 1 Fastback Mustang. In 1989, Toby was tragically killed during a stunt sequence while filming Gone in 60 Seconds 2, which also featured Eleanor. In 1994, his widow Denice Halicki obtained all right, title and interest to the original film Gone in 60 Seconds and Eleanor from her husband's estate. In 1995, Ms. Halicki contracted to remake Gone in 60 Seconds and was an executive producer. In 2000, the remake of Gone in 60 Seconds was released starring Nicholas Cage, Angelina Jolie and Eleanor.

Since 1974 the Halickis consistently maintained control and protection over the Eleanor character
and Gone in 60 Seconds. Ms. Halicki sells model toys of Eleanor and other Eleanor- and Gone in 60 Seconds-related merchandise, including DVDs and VHS tapes of the original Gone in 60 Seconds and its popular sequels The Junkman and Deadline Auto Theft. Eleanor toured the United States to promote the initial release of Gone in 60 Seconds, and appeared at the first Long Beach Grand Prix. A star attraction at both the California Classic Car Rally and the L.A. 2000 NASCAR Street Race, Eleanor was also, for four-months, one of the stars of the Peterson Automotive Museum's "Great Cars of the Movies" exhibit.

Even though Ms. Halicki is the first and prior user of the Eleanor mark, Defendant Carroll Hall Shelby Trust registered the Eleanor trademark in 2004 with the US Patent and Trademark Office, registration number 2837333 for "vehicles, namely, automobiles, engines for automobiles, and structural parts for automobiles". Shelby also applied for a registration for the Eleanor trademark for "toys, namely, die-cast metal model cars" in 2001, which has not yet been registered. Additionally, Plaintiff seeks to have the Court declare Shelby's claim that registration of the "GT-500" trademark does not permit it to market Eleanor-branded vehicles because Ms. Halicki owns the Eleanor mark.

"It has been deeply disturbing to me that Carroll Shelby has taken my Eleanor and has been using her fame and popularity to put millions of dollars in his pocket," said Denice Halicki. "Carroll Shelby is definitely not dealing fair and square, and I won't allow him to tarnish the legacy that my late husband Toby created nor will I allow him to stand in the way of moving forward with my own plans for Eleanor and Gone in 60 Seconds. I hope that he will meet me at the settlement table, but he needs to know that I don't intend to let him or anyone else get away with violating my rights."

"Carroll Shelby is interfering with Denice Halicki's reasonable expectation of prospective economic advantage from the use of her intellectual property rights in Eleanor and Gone In 60 Seconds, "explained Jeffrey S. Kravitz. She was 'up to bat first' and the Defendants had no business registering any kind of mark with the US Patent and Trademark Office in violation of her prior rights. That's why we amended the complaint and will ask the Court to revoke Mr. Shelby's trademark registrations and why we will 'step up to the plate' to oppose any other Eleanor- or Gone in 60 Seconds-related marks that the Defendants might attempt to register."

Also named as Defendants are: Carroll Shelby Licensing, Inc., Carroll Shelby Engineering, Inc., Carroll Shelby Motors, Inc., Carroll Shelby Distribution International, Inc., Unique Performance, Inc. and Sanderson Sales & Marketing.
 
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That sure would hurt if the courts order Shelby to repay or forfeit any monies gained from the "Eleanor" branding :scared

I think we can thank Mrs. Halicki for the fact we may never see this car in a scale model, its her call. :WTF
 
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:iagree

I guess that's the reason why we never saw (and probably never will see) a 1:18 Eleanor. :cry But I can agree that Mrs. Halicki has a right to claim the moneys she's entitled to after all the years that Shelby and Co. have been benefiting for free.

:mine :cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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As much I hate to admit it, she may have a claim to the proceeds. Shelby has been around the block a few times so I am sure he will come out smelling like a rose. I think that he has countersued already.

This will be similar to why we might never see a 1/18 TV series Batmobile, too many hands in the cookie-jar.
 

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This has been going on for quite awhile.
Shelby even tried to get away with it by calling his Eleanor the Shelby GT350E :giggle

Shelby of all people should know that he can't get away with this.
He sued practicly anyone that ever said the word "Cobra" (I sure hope his lawyers don't come after me now :giggle )

I guess what goes around comes around. :lol

Ms. Halicki's owning the rights to the name isn't necessarily the reason behind the lack of a scale model.
The fact that there is another hand open that needs a large amount put into it to be able to make the car is.
After the diecast maker pays Ford and who ever else (Movie Studio?) for the rights to make this car and then have to fork over big money to another party (Ms. H.) and the fact that it will be a mould that will not be able to be used on any other cars makes this a loser.

The Batmobile is held up for the same reasons.
The person or persons that own the rights to that car think they deserve a very large piece of the pie from whatever car is made.
Danbury Mint couldn't work out a deal and they were going to charge over $125!!!

Some people would rather have 50% of nothing than 5% of a fair amount of money :confused
 

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I remember my Dad getting excited when he bought the origional Gone In 60 Seconds back in the 80's on VHS. From what I remember, it was a pretty much stock car (although a pretty bad a$$ one at that). I also saw the remake a few years ago too. I don't anything special about the car other than it was silver while the 'Stang in the origional was yellow.

(Keep in mind that this is coming from a motorcycle guy :giggle )

Now for my question(s)... What keeps a die cast company from creating a model of the producation cars that were used in the movies with out the Elanore badging on the package? Am I missing something here? Why not make a car in the same make, year, model, color and trim package? This won't work for the Batmobile or Speed Racers ride but, for what appears to be a normal production car...why not?

:cheers
Duc
 

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Thanks for the explaination. The modified car wil have certain copyright/patent restrictions.

Thanks for the explaination, RR!!!
:cheers
Duc
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I see both side of this. Mrs. Halicki has the right to the exclusive use of the word "Eleanor" when it come to be used to in a movie car/ Gone in 60 Seconds franchise and Mr. Shelby has the rights to the GT-500 name/likeliness. I think that his mistake was to be on the cover of several magazines calling his new creations "Eleanors", that may loose the case for him. If he looses, I don't see how Halicki can then claim to have the right to issue licenses to make '67 Eleanors diecast.

Would we buy the model if it looked like the movie car, but the car and box had no reference to it? Would AUTOart, Lane, Ert, Yatmingl (that have a mold already) want to get cought in the middle of this and be drawn into court.
As a business decission, I would not, since there are tons of other cars that still need to be done in 1/18 that have no legal rammifications.

This will get interesting.

Many have blamed her, but as much as I like and respect Shelby for all of his charitable work and track records, he is no angel. Remmember him suing Ford over the use of the word Cobra in the '70 and suing them again in the 80's when Ford used GT350 on the Mustang? Or how about him trying to sue every kit manufacturer because they were making Cobras? eventhough the body was never his making, but AC's of England.
 
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