Ferrari lawsuit argues Italian sports charity should drop Purosangue name

Sven Gustafson



Ferrari announced plans for its first SUV back in 2018 by trotting out the name Purosangue, which translates loosely to “thoroughbred” or literally to “pure blood.” Only one problem: There’s a tiny anti-doping sports charity active in Italy and Africa that already claims that name.

No problem, Ferrari says. The Financial Times reports the famous Italian brand has opted to sue the nonprofit Purosangue Foundation, claiming that its registration should be removed because of a lack of use over the past five years. The matter will be heard in a court in Bologna on March 5.

A lawyer representing the nonprofit pro-bono told FT “This is David versus Goliath” and said the brand has been in constant use, including a partnership to produce branded sneakers and clothing with Adidas, which is a sponsor of the charity. A Ferrari spokesman said the company does not comment on pending litigation.

Purosangue Foundation describes itself as an “international solidarity running project” that has been active since 2011 to promote clean and social sports. It also operates training camps in Kenya, Mozambique and Italy, and it runs projects to conduct health check-ups for the elderly and send running shoes to Africa. The organization is registered in London with the UK Charities Commission.

“I am an athlete, used to getting up at 4:30 a.m. to train, so I have a certain mentality,” Max Monteforte, one of the nonprofit’s founders and running coaches, told FT. “I am not going to be scared off, even knowing that we are up against one of the most important brands in the world.”

As for Ferrari’s version of the Purosangue, the SUV FUV, short for Ferrari Utility Vehicle, is expected to launch in 2022 or 2023. It’ll be built on a modular platform shared with other front-engined cars planned as part of CEO Louis Camilleri’s three-year, 15-new-product roadmap. Reports have suggested it will offer a height-adjustable suspension and a plug-in hybrid powertrain using a new, twin-turbo V6, with a pure-combustion V12 likely to serve as the flagship. Ferrari hasn’t said much about its first high-riding ‘ute, and all we’ve seen of it so far was footage of a mule version back in 2018.