Too Close for Comfort


G.M. is suing Avanti Motors for producing a vehicle, the Studebaker XUV, that looks like the Hummer H2. "The Studebaker XUV is so similar to the H2 that the public will be confused by the knockoff of the H2," says a G.M. attorney. "G.M. will not allow its world-famous trademark rights to be violated."

It's doubtful that buyers will be tricked into thinking that Avanti's car is actually G.M.'s. At some point before plunking down $75,000+, they'll probably at least glance at the medallion that identifies the brand. The lawsuit is not aimed at preventing fraud; it's a way of protecting "intellectual property" that the law does not recognize. Since the way a car looks cannot be patented or copyrighted, G.M. is claiming a trademark violation. Ironically, G.M. was sued last year by DaimlerChrysler for using the trademarked Jeep grill design on the H2.

[Thanks to Jim Nelson.]