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Imported From Detroit; trademarked by Chrysler

by Bill Cawthon on

In spite of the criticisms from a few far-right commentators, Chrysler’s memorable Super Bowl ad is a bona fide hit with America’s main street population, especially Eminem’s lines and the tag line “Imported From Detroit.”

“You would not believe how overwhelming positive the results have been on that commercial,” said Dianna Gutierrez, Senior Manager, Product Communications, said. “We knew that it would resonate well here but not to the degree that it has resonated across the country.”

Of course, as with any hot phrase, manufacturers of T-shirts and other items are rushing to cash in. Customer-generated garments bearing the slogans “This is what we do” and “Imported from Detroit” were appearing on custom T-shirt shop Zazzle.com before the game ended Sunday evening.

Unfortunately, those looking to make a quick buck on a hot phrase will run into a problem. Chrysler has already applied for trademark protection of the phrase “Imported From Detroit” in a January 18 filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Chrysler’s trademark application includes not only clothing, but a wide variety of promotional items. This means anyone looking to use the phrase on a commercial product will first need to obtain a license from Chrysler Group.

After being contacted by Chrysler, Zazzle.com says it will removed the offending products, but they were still available this morning.

Those wishing to have products with the “Imported From Detroit” phrase will be happy to know Chrysler already has plans to offer a variety of products in the near future.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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