|As of April 2, 2018
Trademark Holdings has ordered the removal
of all products
for sale with a
I've received a lot of emails from Volvo
enthusiasts all over the world asking why I can no
longer offer labels with a Volvo logo.
Hopefully this notice
answer your questions.
have been a Volvo enthusiast and avid supporter of Volvo Cars for over
30 years. For
more than 12 years I served as the president of the Southern
California chapter of VCOA. I organized a lot of Volvo-related meets
and shows, with many of them involving or coordinating with Volvo
from Volvo's offices in Irvine, California. Since 2005
the Volvo Prancing Moose (and
other labels) was a very public image and Volvo Cars was very
of it's scope and popularity among so many Volvo owners. Since the
stickers I made fostered
between Volvo and Volvo car owners, there was never
a hint of an objection.
I retired and left California in 2013 and doing these labels and other
things like them has served as a nice retirement hobby. I'm not
getting rich doing it, but it has been something I'm really good at and
I have really enjoyed being able to support Volvo owners and
enthusiasts all over the world.
more than 13 years of Volvo offering silent approval, Volvo Trademark
Holdings in Sweden has
now hired attorneys in the USA to order me to stop.
the use of their logo
on stickers or labels in these pages
(i.e.; prancing moose, vintage 240 engine/body labels, replacement
overlays, grill overlays, etc.) is a threat to their brand. Prior
to this, Volvo has never
attempted to contact me with any objections or concerns. I would
certainly have welcomed such a discussion had they done so.
I still welcome a
discussion, but they have refused my many attempts to contact them.
So am I a threat to the Volvo
I agree that Volvo may protect and prohibit the use of their
unauthorized product. All such products have been summarily removed
from my sites. I know this will bring harm to many Volvo owners and
enthusiasts who have depended on my products. What Volvo Cars fails to
understand is that this action will also bring harm to their own
reputation and customer base.
|The logo on the front of
your Volvo is pretty important, because it suggests to everyone who
1. Volvo builds
quality cars . . .
2. or Volvo will not
offer a nice looking emblem that lasts.
This may not mean a lot to owners of other car brands, but there are a
Volvo owners who have a PASSION for their cars that I know is very
different from most other car brands.
Here's an article published by
Hemmings a week after I removed the Volvo products:
(Read the comments below the article too)
One of the comments to this article summed up this situation and a
hopeful outcome better that I ever could have, so I'll post it here:
|by Bob Austin, former head of
public relations for Volvo Cars (USA).
April 10, 2018
"I had the good fortune to work for Volvo for more than 30 years, both
on the car side and on the Corporate side. While I am no longer
employed by Volvo, I can tell you somethings about the company and
about trademark work. The Volvo trademark is not owned by the Chinese
Company. The trademark is held by the Volvo Trademark Holdings
Company….as the trademark is used both by Volvo Cars and by the trucks,
buses, construction equipment, and marine and industrial engines of the
companies inside of AB Volvo (who used to own the car company)."
"They formed the trademark holding company because all of the companies
using the Volvo name want to see it protected. Trademark Holdings has
law firms that do scour the world looking for infringements and
violations. When they find one, they send a cease and desist letter.
That is their job. And to be honest, we all benefit from that because
when you buy a part in a Volvo branded box….it should be a Volvo part
that meets the company’s quality standards, etc."
"David, I have always love your prancing moose badge. I think all of my
friends at Volvo Cars NA here in the states always felt it was produced
out of love and a with a sense of humor that Volvo lovers all share.
The Trademark Holdings people probably did not analyze the badge, they
just found it and sent a letter…the way they always do."
"While this is not an official recommendation, I would suggest your
respond politely to their cease and desist letter and tell them the
facts: you have been producing this design for decades, Volvo Cars
staff in the US have seen it on literally thousands of occasions and no
none has ever taken issue with it, and it is meant to build esteem for
the Volvo brand as opposed to harming it. I would then ask them for an
exception to grant you a license to continue producing items with this
design, as you have been for all these years."
"I cannot guarantee the outcome, but it would seem to be a reasonable
request as it not hurting the Volvo brand name in any way, nor is it
costing any of the corporations any income. If anything it is showing
that the company has a good sense of humor and realizes that it has a
huge following around the world!"
"They are not trying to be mean and vindictive, they are just doing
their job. And it has nothing to do with either Sweden or China. It is
just good business to have people protecting your trademark."
If you have been a customer of mine for any length of time, you
may have appreciated the options I've offered to help keep your Volvos
looking nice. Volvo has had a history of quality
control problems with
their exterior and interior body
emblems for a long time. These are issues that anyone still
loyal to Volvo has either learned to accept or found a way to fix
them on their own. One embarrassing problem began with their overall
change in 2009 to the large 3D round iron logo. The blue "VOLVO" emblem would delaminate and
off after as soon as a couple years.
receiving many emails from Volvo owners requesting a solution, I
developed an inexpensive replacement grill emblem
overlay. Customers reported they
loved them and many said they looked better than original. Volvo
did eventually recognize the problem and answered with a replacement
grill sticker of their own, which began at about
$35. Then I began receiving emails from Volvo
owners who reported
those new factory replacement stickers were falling apart in a year or
same as the originals. Those stickers then began
everywhere for about $3 and Volvo dealers have reportedly been giving
them away in order to reduce customer complaints.
Then the same thing
happened with the blue "VOLVO" emblem on steering wheels on all 2008 to
models. After again receiving numerous requests, I
developed a replacement overlay label
those too. Customers who reportedly complained to Volvo about the
defect have told
me Volvo's only recommendations
to fix this issue has
been to replace the steering wheel or
airbag assembly at the customer's
expense. It should not surprise you to find out
that many Volvo
dealers eventually developed a very strong interest in items
like this to fix customer cars and to restore emblems on used
Volvo car inventory.
these quality control problems enough
to drive a
owner to another car brand? It may be a culmination of issues,
for some, YES, I certainly think so. That's
certainly not something I want to see happen, but clearly I am NOT the
one in control of THAT. Volvo Cars is.
I had a hope
that someone at Volvo would eventually return my many messages or call
me. This is clearly NOT going to happen. They are now fully aware
of the situation and they have made a decision to ignore me and all of
the Volvo enthusiats like me.
I have attemped repeatedly to contact Dean
Shaw, VP of Corporate Communications (the closest thing to Public
Relations), in hopes of fostering
some discussion about
this situation, however all requests for communication have been
ignored so far. Dean Shaw is listed in the Volvo Cars USA web
the one to contact with trademark questions. I have also sent
contact requests through Volvo's web pages to no avail.
|When I called the law office
in the U.S. on April 2, 2018 (who was
hired by Volvo Cars to issue
the cease and desist notice), I made a request to be contacted by Volvo
my wish to discuss
licensing, permissions, etc.
On April 18, 2018, I received
response from the
attorney that she had a message from Volvo Cars.
interested in having any discussion.
Clearly from the numerous emails I have received, many
the products or options that I can no longer offer to Volvo enthusiats.
If this concerns you then you may want to mention it to a Volvo
retailer or to Volvo corporate if you can
actually make contact with anyone there who might listen.
Volvo Car USA
1 Volvo Drive
Rockleigh NJ 07647 USA
Main: (800) 458-1552
Customer Service: (800) 550-5658
Ph: +1 201-768-7300
CONTACT INFORMATION BELOW:
know this situation has impacted a lot of people? Google Analytics tells me this page has
historically averaged 40,000 page views per month. Since this situation
began on April 2, page views have jumped over 140% to 100,000 page
month. I appreciate the concern and attention
enthusiasts around the world have paid to this situation and the level
they consider it to be. Your support is certainly heartfelt and
- Dave Barton -