A YouTube personality Who spent $ 525 on a pizza pizza at Domino's Pizza at a salvage auction and rebuilt it in front of the camera says he's now being asked to sell the vehicle or fight the consequences of a possible trademark infringement by Domino.
The YouTuber, Tampa, Fla. Area Man Passing By Samcrac, documented his extensive repairs to Domino's DXP car on video The car coated with Domino's logos had suffered a head-on collision and was no longer functional, when he bought it in October with only 2,014 miles on the odometer.
His first video about the car – "I bought a WORKED Domino's Pizza DXP car for $ 525 (and we'll rebuild it)" – received more than 1.8 million views and resulted in several follow-up up segments as its repair work progressed.
He got parts for the job by picking it up from a similar, non-Domino small car that was damaged in Hurricane Irma. He grabbed this vehicle for $ 1,500.
To the delight of Samcrac and the annoyance of the pizza chain in Ann Arbor, Domino's car is repaired and running again. However, Samcrac stressed in a phone interview this week that he does not currently drive it.
"The car is not even registered for the road," he said.
Samcrac, 29, who does not share his full name, said people from a Domino-affiliated organization had recently contacted him and offered to either buy the car directly, or Removing the Car from All DXP Features and Packing It Instead in Samcrac's Logo of Favorite Sports Team
The callers sounded surprised to find the Domino's car offered for sale despite its severe damage on an auto auction website has been. Samcrac asked if they knew that car insurance companies often sell salvaged vehicles to auction companies.
The Domino & # 39; s Pizza Delivery Van bought and damaged by Samcrac (Photo: Samcrac)
The words an individual on the phone "We thought it was shattered," said Samcrac.
Samcrac declined the offer of callers to buy the car. He did not state how much money he was offered, but a press secretary from Domino's Pizza recently told Jalopnik that the offer was $ 10,000 and came from the franchisee of Domino, who previously owned the car.
Domino's also said the news site Samcrac has countered the $ 10,000 bid with a $ 90,000 request that was not accepted.
Samcrac said he also suggested on the phone that he and Domino team up for a charity and pack the DXP car with 80 pizzas (19650006) "This idea seemed to be well received," Samcrac said in a later one Video, "but they let me know that their ultimate goal was to get this car back."
Samcrac said he then received a letter from a lawyer threatening him with legal action over Domino's trademark infringement.
That's what prompted Samcrac, a March 17, YouTube video titled, "I'm bein I'm forced to give the pizza car back and need your help." The video took viewers to a GoFundMe page to collect money for his anticipated lawsuit to keep the Domino's car.
"I did not know that you could force someone to sell one of his possessions," he said in the video. Samcrac told the Free Press this week that he has not been sued because of the car, but he now has a lawyer for every possible fight. He said he is repaying the $ 6,000 in GoFundMe campaign donations as his viewers connected him to the lawyer.
A representative of Domino refused a Free Press interview or answered specific questions about the DXP car. 19659006] "The matter was a DXP of an independent domino franchisee and Domino's company is not involved and can not comment further," said Jenny Fouracre in an email.
The DXP is one of some 150 retrofitted compact cars introduced by the 2015 Ann Arbor-based Pizza Riese as the first purpose-built pizza delivery vehicle. The cars, Chevrolet Sparks with four cylinders, have a pizza oven and an interior for 80 pizzas. All seats except the driver's seat have been removed to make room for pizza, drinks and dips.
Domino only allowed franchisees to buy the DXPs, which were estimated to cost between $ 20,000 and $ 25,000.
Among legal experts, there seems to be disagreement as to whether dominos could have a legitimate trademark infringement with Samcrac's car.
John Rothchild, associate professor at Wayne State University Law School, said the key question was whether the creator would be used The Domino author's car could make people think that he and the car were actually using Domino's pizza were connected.
If Samcrac in a hypothetical scenario should perform a dangerous stunt on the road with the car endangering life, Domino's brand could be damaged, said Rothchild.
"I think it could be an injury," he said. "Someone might be confused if he thinks Domino is sponsoring every spectacle this guy does with the car."
Two Domino DXP cars bought by Samcrac. (Photo: Samcrac)
Southfield-based attorney Steve Lehto, who specializes in auto consumer cases, sees a possible trademark infringement if Samcrac starts driving the car while it's still covered with Domino's logos ,
"People are going to go," Oh, there's a Domino car. "But it's not Domino's car," Lehto said.
He added, "If Domino does not do anything here and they let him build this car, every next (domino) car going through an auction will be rebuilt and it will continue to be a fleet of former Domino's cars on the road
But a lawyer said he did not believe that Samcrac violated Domino's trademark by taking the car for a round unless he tried to run a business with him
The Florida-based business lawyer Lior Leser explained in this argument his own YouTube video.
"Anyone who sees this car may think that a Domino employee or a franchise, or someone who's dealing with Domino," drive this car, "Reader said." So it could cause confusion, but not necessarily brand infringement because its use is not commercial – it keeps it (the car) to itself. "
But as long as Samcrac keeps the car parked and just shows up on video repair" Lehto probably has not hurt Domino, "says Lehto.  "What he has done so far has probably not caused Domino's damage," Lehto said.
Contact JC Reindl: 313-222-6631 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @JCReindl.
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