DETROIT -- A federal judge today denied a motion by Chrysler Group LLC to bar use of its "Imported from Detroit" commercial tag line by clothier Pure Detroit, which in turn has formally opposed Chrysler's bid to trademark the phrase.
U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow ruled that Chrysler's request didn't show that it would suffer irreparable harm or that it had a strong likelihood of winning its case. That means Pure Detroit's owner, Detroit retailer Moda Group LLC, can continue selling its "Imported from Detroit" products.
Tarnow also noted that Chrysler doesn't have a trademark on "Imported from Detroit" and rejected the automaker's argument that trademark law isn't applicable to the case.
In March, Chrysler sued Pure Detroit and its owners over sales of T-shirts using the phrase immediately after the automaker's Feb. 6 TV commercial launch during Super Bowl XLV.
Pure Detroit countersued in April, claiming the automaker doesn't have a valid trademark because the phrase is geographical, descriptive and arguably misleading -- Chrysler is based in Auburn Hills and the centerpiece Chrysler 200 from the advertising campaign is assembled in Sterling Heights.
Moda filed letters of protest in April against all three of Chrysler's trademark applications before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for varying uses of the phrase. The company is represented by suburban Detroit law firm Dobrusin & Thennisch PC.
Michael Palese, a Chrysler spokesman, said the automaker "will continue to pursue all avenues to protect our 'Imported From Detroit' trademark."