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Ford Moves to Challenge Lynk & Co. Trademark for Sounding Too Much Like Lincoln

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LYNK & CO Launch

Let’s play a word association game.

See the words: Lynk & Co.

What is the first thing that comes to mind? An as-yet-unreleased spin-off in the Legend of Zelda franchise? The work of supremely talented slipstream fiction writer Kelly Link? A relative of famed country singer David Allan Coe who goes by the name Lynk’n Coe?

Do you think of the Lincoln Motor Company? It’s obvious that Lincoln and its unmistakable, unforgettable brand of luxury are not often far from your mind, but if those words evoke thoughts of Lincoln in particular, then you already know why Ford Motor Company is challenging Geely Holding Group’s US trademark application for the Lynk & Co. brand.

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According to Auto News, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted Ford an extension until November 15th to formally file paperwork opposing Geely’s trademark. Ford would ostensibly be doing so on the grounds that Lynk & Co. just sounds a bit too similar to Lincoln Co., which presumably would create confusion amongst luxury vehicle shoppers who aren’t too good with spelling.

Hey, at least it’s not as ridiculous as a video game developer trademarking the word “cyberpunk” or Sony trying to trademark “let’s play.”

“The Lincoln brand has a rich 100-year history and we intend to protect its reputation,” a Lincoln spokesman said in an email to Automotive News. “Lynk & CO is infringing on the Lincoln … trademark and we are taking legal actions to prevent them from using their infringing mark. Their name as it stands will confuse customers.”

So maybe it’s time for Geely to start thinking up alternative names for the brand to carry into its planned launch in the United States. Perhaps Four Motor Company? Or maybe Muss Tang Motors? Conty Nun Tall Automotive? Lynk & Nab a Gator? The Harry Furred Motor Company, complete with fuzzy bear mascots? Just spit-balling here.

Whether the challenge is formally filed remains to be seen. Lynk & Co. is a joint venture that is 50% controlled by Zhejiang Geely. Geely Automobile and Volvo split the remaining 50% ownership. The brand intends to produce its 01 crossover and 03 sedan for the US market at the same Luqiao, China manufacturing facility where the Volvo XC40 is built.

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News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)