Mercedes-Benz Classic has destroyed the replica body of a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. The courts have ruled that it is not legal to market the body, which was seized by German customs officials.

The body shape of the legendary gullwing model has been trademarked by Daimler AG. Anyone building, offering or selling replicas of the vehicle is in breach of the Company’s rights. This even applies if the replicas do not incorporate any logos or trademarks of the Company.

As a work of applied art, the body of the 300 SL has been under copyright protection for a number of decades. The employees who designed the famous gullwing model in the 1950s granted Daimler AG comprehensive exploitation rights. The body shape has also been trademarked by Daimler AG, as recently confirmed by the Stuttgart regional court.

The first step in destroying the replica was to separate the chassis from the body. The Mercedes-Benz used-parts centre, which is also responsible for scrapping all Mercedes-Benz prototypes from the development units, then destroyed the body on behalf of Daimler AG.

The certified equipment used in the center includes two presses, each applying over 30 tonnes of pressure. The replica sports car had a fibreglass body weighing precisely 148 kilograms, which the compressor smashed into small pieces. This dramatic end to the unlawful body was officially documented with a signed and stamped ‘confirmation of scrappage’.

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  1. Just remember that loose copyright laws helped make Germany great at the beginning of the 19th century, especially regarding printed works.

  2. FYI: ~what’th, -this is truly a travesty of law, and i am sorry that “Mercedes-Benz Classic, Co.” did not obtain good Legal-counsel, –for most any practitioner of Patent/Trademark/Copyright-Law knows that one can only Copyright a 3-dimensional work de’art which is just that, –it cannot have any function other that as a sculpture per’se, -hence MB’s claim to a Copyright on the body-design is absolute legal voodoojoo-BS!! MB would only have been granted right to a Design-patent, –which i’ve a copy of, and it is long expired; –hence the Court-decision should have been appealed within 6-mos. in order for the alleged violators to have been vindicated free to continue making their lovely faithful replica for the connoisseur, –because they are doing a public-service which MB has failed to do! ~R.vH in SanDiego USA


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