Let's pop the hood on a legal battle raging over an American automotive legend: the proprietary rights to the DeLorean legacy.
Marc Levy owns one of the DeLorean DMC-12s, which still stop traffic 30 years after they were manufactured.
The car's gullwing doors, stainless steel skin, and its starring role in "Back To The Future" are iconic, and it’s also the root of this legal battle.
Last year, Sally DeLorean, widow of John DeLorean, sued a Texas company that she said was calling itself DeLorean Motor Company is using and selling trademarks and property rights that it doesn't own.
Both sides of the lawsuit had reached a preliminary settlement in June that would pay an undisclosed amount of money to Sally DeLorean.
However, this week, her attorney wrote a letter to the judge that said the company's lawyers were trying to change the settlement at the last minute.
“Mr. DeLorean bought all the intellectual property, including all the designs, that had belonged to his company, the DeLorean Motor Company, which went bankrupt in the 80’s, and so, he has the rights to all of it,” Sally DeLorean’s attorney, R. Scott Thompson stated.
The attorneys for the Texas Company, which isn’t related to the original DeLorean Company-- started by John DeLorean in any way, wrote a response denying those claims and said that they aim to use the trademarks and name that they have had registered for more than two decades.
The company in Texas has never been formally affiliated with the company DeLorean started.
The original DeLorean’s Motor Company went into receivership in 1982 after producing about 9,000 cars with stainless steel cars that enthusiasts still love today.
Levy stated that the logo and the intellectual rights were in the public domain for more than 20 years, until people saw value in it.
“It really isn’t owned by anybody. To have a company come along 30 years later and claim ownership of something, just because now it has some value, I think that’s really unfair,” Levy stated.