An Illinois car museum has won its battle with Volvo Cars of North America Inc. over the use of the volocars.com domain name.
Both sides waited for weeks for the World Intellectual Property Organization (wipo.org) to decide who had the right to use the name, giving the Volo Auto Museum time to wage a war of press releases against Volvo Cars (volvocars.com).
The museum, about 50 miles northwest of Chicago, called the dispute a classic David vs. Goliath clash. Why, it asked, would such a big company be concerned with a business in Volo, Ill., where the "mayor is a local pig farmer and the 200 or so folks living in Volo are a close-knit group of citizens who enjoy rural life?"
Museum officials say they were surprised when Volvo lawyers wrote asking them to surrender the name, saying it was too similar to Volvo.
"The letter was insulting," museum owner Greg Gams says. "It said that Volvo is a famous name that can be harmed by small business use. Among car enthusiasts, Volo is more famous than Volvo."
Among its many treasures, the museum boasts the only surviving General Lee Dodge Charger from the "Dukes of Hazzard" TV show.
It is not the first time a car company found itself in such a dispute. Last fall, a federal judge ordered North Carolina businessman Uzi Nissan to stop using nissan.com and nissan.net for commercial purposes.
Attempts to get Volvo to talk for this story proved unsuccessful.