Chrysler Inadvertently Revives 'Scat Pack' Trademark Squabble from 1968

Oct 17, 2014 06:30 PM EDT | Tim Healey

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Dodge enthusiasts will remember the "Scat Pack" name that the company used to slap on its muscle cars of yore--the same Scat Pack badging that the company recently resurrected for its Dodge Challenger model. Well, enthusiasts aren't the only ones who haven't forgotten.

Scat Enterprises also remembers, and the California-based company that makes aftermarket parts for Dodge performance cars is bringing a lawsuit against Chrysler for trademark infringement, the same way it did back in 1968.

The aftermarket parts maker has been around for 51 years, meaning it had been in business for five years by the time Dodge first used the Scat Pack moniker on versions of the Charger R/T, Coronet R/T, Dart GTS and Superbee in 1968. Scat Enterprises sent a cease-and-desist to Dodge way back then, and after three years, the Scat Pack name went away in 1971.

In a statement quoted by Automotive News, Chrysler called the lawsuit "a meritless and opportunistic attempt to hold Chrysler hostage just days before the upcoming SEMA show.

"Chrysler will vigorously defend itself against this attack and look to enforce its own rights in this moniker," the automaker said.  

In 2013, Chrysler applied for a patent on the name three months before showing a Scat Pack Challenger at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association show in Las Vegas. The application was denied, but Dodge went ahead with the launch anyway.

The lawsuit says that negotiations between Chrysler and Scat have been fruitless to this point.

The use of the name isn't a minor thing for Dodge, as CEO Tim Kuniskis believes that the Scat Pack trim will be a volume seller for the Challenger model. Dodge also runs an online forum dedicated to marketing the trim level.

Scat Enterprises isn't just asking for the name to be protected and Dodge to be prohibited from using it--the company also wants Dodge to turn over all marketing materials, badges and other items to be destroyed. It's also seeking monetary damages in an unspecified amount.

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