Geneva man in Facebook page fight with Ferrari
A Geneva man who started a Ferrari fan Facebook page when he was 15 is claiming at least 10 million francs in damages from the Italian luxury sports carmaker after he lost control of the site, media reports say.
Sammy Wasem, an amateur race-car driver, started up the page six years ago and within less than a year attracted 500,000 fans, 20 Minutes reported on Sunday.
Ferrari, keen to latch on to the Facebook craze, later contacted Wasem about making the page the automaker’s official site, the newspaper said.
Over a two-year period he and his father Olivier collaborated with Ferrari by managing the site and posting content.
While Ferrari became administrator of the site, Wasem, now 21, “never formally gave up his rights to the Italian company,” his lawyer Gerald Page is quoting by 20 Minutes as saying.
The Wasems had asked to be paid for their services but Ferrari played for time while pocketing millions from its online store integrated into the Facebook page, Page said.
Last year, Sammy Wasem, feeling robbed of his creation, filed a lawsuit claiming damages.
“The amount ill be determined as a function of the financial returns from the online store,” Page told 20 Minutes.
“But the damages cannot be less than 10 million francs.”
Ferrari, for its part, has sued the Wasems, arguing that they misused the company’s trademark by using the Facebook page to advertise non-Ferrari merchandise, Bloomberg reported earlier.
“They dared to take away a kid’s dream,” Sammy Wasem told the news agency.
“They have no scruples.”
The Wassems claim they made no money selling merchandise on the site.
Stefano Lai, a spokesman for Ferrari, said the dispute was about use of the company’s name.
“The issue isn’t with Facebook or with our fans but with those who try to use Ferrari’s intellectual property to make money out of it,” Lai told Bloomberg.