Honda, RPA Sued for Trademark Violation

By Kiran Aditham 

Nothing like a little litigation to ring in the holidays. An environmental group called Save the Earth Enterprises is suing Honda Motor Corp. US and its agency RPA for using its “Save the Earth” slogan in a recent ad campaign for the Honda Civic 2010.

If you remember, the commercial features a hippie type sporting a “Save the Earth” t-shirt and getting out of his 70’s Civic CCC. As he strolls on the sidewalk, time lapse footage takes us through different eras of the t-shirt (slogan intact) and the Civic itself. Well, Save the Earth founder Neal Pargman says his organization wants nothing to do with the campaign. In a statement, he says, “The Honda ad campaign confused people into thinking that we endorsed Honda or were affiliated with Honda. We aren’t affiliated with them and don’t endorse them.”

Pargman, who says he’s been selling merchandise bearing the Save the Earth trademark since 1972 and holds a U.S.-registered trademark, says the automaker is using the trademark without permission and has ignored cease-and-desist letters from the organization. In turn, the group is looking to recover Honda’s profits from the ad campaign and put the kibosh on future use by Honda of the group’s trademark.

More: “Honda Lets it Shine

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