Write off the car, not the kid! ®

K4K, known for infamous jingle, heads to court in trademark infringement case...

Dec 11, 2023

(Source amNY by Ben Branchfeld) Kars4Kids, the tri-state area charity known for its ubiquitous “1-877-KARS-4-KIDS” jingle, heads to court this week amid a fierce trademark infringement battle with a similarly-named Texas charity.

For more than two decades, New Jersey-based Kars4Kids has become known around the country for its near-constant advertising on radio and television featuring a jingle that has been widely described as an earworm. The jingle features young children imploring listeners to “donate your car today,” with proceeds from the car’s sale being used to fund enrichment programming for local youth.

But the organization has been locked in a years-long legal battle with a Texas charity with a similar name, America Can! Cars for Kids, which also solicits used car donations and uses the proceeds to help young people. Cars for Kids was founded in 1992, with Kars4Kids coming on the scene in 1994.

After years of legal threats, Kars4Kids sued Cars for Kids in 2014, alleging trademark infringement, and Cars for Kids countersued the following year. In 2019, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled in favor of Cars for Kids, and ordered its alleged imitator to fork over $10 million in damages. Kars4Kids has appealed the ruling, and the two parties will appear in federal court in New Jersey this week for a hearing.

“Hopefully after that, everything will be done and we’ll be able to move on,” said Colin Weatherwax, CEO of Dallas-based Cars for Kids, in an interview with amNewYork Metro. “We obviously want to recoup some of our costs, but at the end of the day we just want what is rightfully ours, which is our name.”

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