Daughter Embarks On Treacherous Mission To Revive Her Father’s Legacy


Kat DeLorean is angry, and she isn’t pulling any punches. She is the daughter of the guy who invented the DeLorean DMC-12 sports revered for its central role as the souped-up time machine in the 1985 sci-fi comedy hit Back to The Future.

Whilearguably the most brilliant product placement in the history of Hollywood, it sparked a firestorm of controversy and litigation over intellectual property rights.

The Origin Story

Like so many wildly successful entrepreneurs, John DeLorean had ambitions that far exceeded what he could hope to accomplish in his corporate job at GM where he became the youngest division head at age 40.

Pushing all the controversy about the man, the trademark and movie deals gone horribly wrong aside, the DMC-12’s brand equity as a futuristic vehicle is still largely intact and Kat has a bold strategic vision to leverage it to the hilt come hell or high water.

She started her company, DeLorean Next Generation Motors to “revive and reinterpret” her father’s iconic car brand which she believes has been stolen from her by the company that owns the trademark to her family name, The DeLorean Motor Company.

The Future Reimagined

Damning the legal torpedoes coming at her from the company “her father despised” Kat is developing a modern, electric version of the classic DeLorean DMC-12 sports car, called the Model-JZD, designed by Ángel Guerra and inspired by her father’s original vision. The first production model is planned for unveiling in late 2024 or 2025.

Meanwhile, all it takes is a quick visit to Kat’s LinkedIn profile to see what makes her tick. “I am Delorean. My father left me a Legacy of Dreams, I am here to make them come true.”

Competitive Differentiation Legal Strategy

But the last thing she wants is to confuse you into believing that she is affiliated with the DeLorean Motor Company which is “attempting a hostile takeover of my father’s brand.”

Ironic, considering that one of the key legal standards to establish trademark infringement is whether the competing brand creates sufficient confusion to steal customers from the trademark holder.

While DMC Texas legally owns the DeLorean trademarks, Kat alleges they are going against her father’s principles, wrongfully exploiting his name and legacy to promote their new Alpha5 vehicle, made even more egregious by the fact that it has no connection to the original company.

A Car Company With A Soul

For Kat it’s not just about selling cool cars. She’s selling “dream empowerment fueled by cars.” A key aspect of DNG Motors is its emphasis on education and mentorship in automotive manufacturing.

Kat wants to provide opportunities for young people to get hands-on training, inspired by her father’s efforts to nurture engineering talent early in his career.

The company has partnered with Babson College, where students developed prototypes for DNG Motors merchandise like Lego sets and sunglasses tied to the brand’s story.

Passing The Torch

Kat is aiming to honor and continue John DeLorean’s original mission of innovative, affordable and ethically produced cars through her new company, while providing educational opportunities and distancing herself from the separate commercial DeLorean brand that’s holding all the trademark cards.

All of which creates the perfect storm for legal battles over licensing fees and usage rights for years to come.

As the CEO of DNG Motors, Kat is involved in the DeLorean Legacy Project, a grassroots effort to preserve and promote her father’s legacy and automotive achievements.

Sidestepping The Legal Landmines

As long as this is done without infringing on any trademarks or intellectual property rights held by her rival, legal analysts believe that her exposure may not be as high as her adversaries and detractors want us to believe.

This clearly isn’t Kat’s first rodeo. By separating her activities from DMC to avoid trademark conflicts or misrepresentation as she has been doing in her social media posts, podcast appearances and interviews with major media, winning an infringement lawsuit is going to seem a lot like nailing Jello to a tree for DMC.

It is also questionable that if it did go all the way to a trial, what jury is going to rob her of her birthright: the DeLorean name and legacy?

As John DeLorean’s daughter, Kat likely has some rights to use the family name for legitimate purposes. Provided that Kat DeLorean operates her company and legacy efforts in a lawful manner, respecting intellectual property rights and not engaging in any misleading or illegal activities, the general consensus from Business Intelligence Weekly’steam of legal advisors is that Kat should manage to keep her exposure in check.

Thank you for reading Business Intelligence Weekly. Abnormal Insight for Extraordinary Minds. The creator and journalist behind the digital publication, Andrew Ellenberg, is President & Managing Partner of Rise Integrated, an innovative studio that creates, produces, and distributes original multimedia content across digital touchpoints. To submit story ideas or ask about custom multimedia publishing, call 816-506-1257, email [email protected], or read more of his work in Forbes. To learn about his company check out this profile story.