In a landmark case (04-80928CIV-COHN)

For American Superyacht developer and builder, John F. Rodrigues (Joao Francisco Camargo Rodrigues), owner of the prestigious and world-renown BUGATTI YACHTS, BUGATTI MARINE and BUGATTI RACING trademarks, it is time to put a stop on the corruption of large multinational corporations like Volkswagen A.G., that not only defraud their own investors and the general public, but also international governments. Volkswagen A.G. is accused of misusing its economic power to pursue unlawful activities to obstruct justice and deprive small business owners of their legitimate civil rights, with the assistance of mercenary individuals and lobbyist law firms that are large political contributors and use of their traffic of influence in Courts and Government Agencies to interfere with free trade and corrupt the judiciary system.

Mr. Rodrigues, who courageously recently filed the David against Goliath complaint in Federal Court (see attached document(04-80928CIV-COHN), is representing himself in the proceedings, as he believes that it is the only way he will be able to go all the way to a Jury trial in a corrupt environment, where attorneys normally make deals and settlements in behalf of their clients that are generally not in the best interest of the smaller party. By acting Pro Se, the Florida businessman also avoids having Volkswagen A.G.’s 450 attorneys of Philadelphia based Blank Rome LLP quickly exhaust his financial resources and kick him out of Court before a verdict.

John F. Rodrigues, who long before getting involved in the shipbuilding business, fortunately became an international lawyer in Brazil, knows his rights as a US citizen, demands Justice and wants to expose to the public how foreign multinational corporations managed by unscrupulous CEOs can today, quietly and unpunished, misuse their investors’ capital in unlawful activities around the world that prevent free trade, deprive individuals and companies of their civil rights and ultimately, by frivolous lawsuits, destroy defenseless small business owners that cannot possibly compete with the large multinational economic litigation power of groups like Volkswagen A.G.

The yacht builder and international attorney points out that the US legal system structure is perfectly set up for a corruptive environment and must be revised if there is to be any justice left in America. He argues that Justice in the US has become a privilege of those few who can afford it, stating that current US legislation pushed by the BAR associations have banned the ability of small business owners of representing their own companies in Court, rendering themselves completely vulnerable to the predatory acts of multinational corporations. As a result, he believes there is a “legal-theft” of individual and civil rights guaranteed by the Constitution by the legal maneuvers of unscrupulous mercenary attorneys profiting from the unlawful interests of multinational corporations, at the cost of destroying defenseless small business.

In his opinion, it is an absurd that the Mayor of the city of Boca Raton is an attorney at the lobbyist law firm Blank Rome LLP, in what he calls a total conflict of interest and, that US Judges can retire and go anytime to work for law firms were they were earlier promised jobs. “How can someone expect a fair trial if the attorney for the wealthy party was previously a Judge in the same Court you expect Justice?” Mr. Rodrigues affirms that the defective legal system has allowed the corruption to reach the administrative branches of the US Government and comments that notwithstanding the fact that the lobbyist law firm Blank Rome LLP was a major financial contributor to the current George Bush administration, thus having clear traffic of influence on all Government institutions and agencies, we have a system that allows a United States Patent and Trademark Office attorney to retire and then go to work for a law firms that represent clients and practices in the same government institution, like there is nothing wrong with that or no conflict of interest at all. “Again, how can you expect an individual or small business to have his or its legitimate trademark rights assured in the United States, if the attorneys for the large multinational corporations have free traffic of influence inside the United States Patent & Trademark Office?”

For Mr. Rodrigues, there is no big surprise that Volkswagen A.G., acting through an unknown subsidiary in the Tax Haven of Luxembourg, Bugatti International S.A., has for over seventeen (17) years without any legal right, applied, registered and illegally warehoused dozens of invalid trademark registrations based on the original Ettore Bugatti marks in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He stresses that none of such registered or pending marks have ever been used in commerce, a clear trademark law requirement for a valid trademark registration and, that the warehousing of marks is illegal and turns such marks invalid and subject to cancellation. The only explanation he has is the traffic of influence of Volkswagen A.G.’s attorneys in the USPTO. Now, after four years of fighting in the USPTO and tired of the obstruction of justice by the lobbyist law firm Blank Rome and the lack of action by part of the USPTO in canceling such fraudulent registrations, Mr. Rodrigues is suing both. Perhaps, the big surprise for Volkswagen A.G. and its subsidiaries respective CEOs and directors, and for Blank Rome LLP and seven of its attorneys, was to see themselves also sued in person for obstruction of justice and fraud among other several counts.

The marine entrepreneur, who has today the largest yacht Portfolio in the industry with over 36 designs ranging in size from a 32ft titanium hydrofoil to Superyachts over 420ft, says his superior and more prestigious multi-million Dollar shipbuilding services under the BUGATTI YACHTS, BUGATTI MARINE and BUGATTI RACING marks had pose a threat to the German car builder attempt to resurrect the defunct car mark EB BUGATTI, named after Ettore Bugatti, an Italian fellow that built cars in France in between 1910 and 1939, and calls the Bugatti car project a fraud against its investors and the consumer; that involves conspiracy, unfair competition, antitrust violations, trademark infringement and the illegal registration of Mr. Ettore Bugatti’s original trademarks in several countries around the world to form a monopoly that so far has cost unaware investors over $500 Million Dollars, with not even one single car delivered to the public in over six years of promises.

Mr. Rodrigues contemplates that the unlawful actions of Volkswagen A.G.’s managing Team in conspiring with others to unjustly pursue the destruction of his non-competing business with the abuse of economic power in unfair competition, combined with the abuse of the legal system, may now seriously jeopardize Volkswagen A.G.’s integrity and the future of its fraudulent EB Bugatti mark. The yacht builder says he can prove that neither Volkswagen A.G., nor its unknown Tax Haven subsidiary, Bugatti International S.A. of Luxembourg, or Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S., the company formed in 2001 to eventually build the cars, are the legitimate successors to Mr. Ettore Bugatti or his marks, as Volkswagen A.G. falsely states to the public, and consequently, not the legitimate owner of the mark EB BUGATTI for automobiles, which has been in actual use by Pur Sang, an Argentinian company making replicas of Ettore Bugatti’s original race cars since 1995, thus long before Volkswagen A.G. has claimed to have acquired the rights for the mark. John F. Rodrigues says that history is just repeating itself when he remembers the fiasco and embarrassment of Volkswagen A.G. with the Rolls-Royce purchase back in 1998 for over $750 Million Dollars to later find out that the trademark actually belonged to rival BMW. Volkswagen A.G. produced Rolls Royce cars for a couple of years before it was forced to surrender production to BMW.

One may ask now, what the Principality of Monaco, Prince Albert and Prince Rainier Grimaldi has to do with Volkswagen A.G.’s and its subsidiary Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S unlawful business practices? The marine entrepreneur alleges that the Principality of Monaco, Prince Rainier and Prince Albert voluntarily accepted, endorsed and promoted unfair competition, anti-trust violations and trademark infringement in their territory, thus violating several of the anti-trust and trademark international agreements that the Principality of Monaco and the United States are member countries and of which the Principality of Monaco had the duty to enforce it and punish the infringers.

Mr. Rodrigues affirms that the willful and malicious sponsorship of the Monaco Yacht Show and other marine events by a car company, Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S., is completely unnatural, just as Superyachts would be in an Auto Show. The yacht builder accuses Volkswagen A.G.’s and its subsidiary Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S of trading on his good will, unfair competition, trademark infringement, trade libel and of deceiving the public as to the source of the goods, in an attempt to destroy his marine business and steal it for itself by abuse of economic power, which became even more blatant on 2003, when it conspired with two German yacht design companies, also sued by John F. Rodrigues, to market a counterfeited Superyacht project named by Volkswagen A.G. as the Bugatti Event Cruiser, which wholly incorporates Mr. Rodrigues BUGATTI YACHTS Bora, in display since 1999.
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