GM Resolves Dispute Over Beretta Name
General Motors Corp. will contribute $500,000 to cancer research as part of a settlement announced Wednesday in a trademark infringement case brought by an Italian gun maker against GM’s Beretta model. The auto maker also will pay unspecified legal and administrative fees associated with the lawsuit filed by Fabrica D’Armi Pietro Beretta SpA, Beretta said in a statement.
The 500-year-old Italian company, which has registered trademarks in this country for the Beretta name starting in 1954, sued GM in federal court in New York last July, seeking $250 million in damages.
The settlement calls for GM to donate $500,000 to the Beretta Foundation for Cancer Research, Beretta spokesman Ralph Cole said in a statement.
Under the agreement, GM will be permitted to continue to use the Beretta name for its car line. The auto maker also must acknowledge in its sale catalogues and Beretta owner’s manuals that the name is being used with the permission of the Italian company, the Beretta statement said.
“We believe that this settlement provides an adequate, conciliatory resolution to both parties of the litigation,” Beretta President Pier Giuseppe Beretta said in the statement.
GM spokesmen did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment.
The gun maker went after GM when the auto maker unveiled the Chevrolet Beretta in 1987, despite warning letters from Beretta lawyers the previous year.
The conflict between the two companies was parodied last month by Car & Driver magazine, which did a “road test” comparing the GM sports car with the handgun whose name it shares.
The Italian company makes luggage, clothing, cutlery and optical equipment as well as target, hunting and military guns.