Car Intellectual Property (IP). None of the below constitutes legal advice nor do we ever give legal advice. We do however take it! Here we offer you our opinions only, based on our own experiences. In matters of IP we would always recommend consulting a qualified legal expert, for example Murgitroyd. Some articles that they have created are here and here. Another option is Wilmots Litigation , who specialise in classic car litigation. There are others. We are not in any way associated, recommended, sponsored or approved by these businesses or vice versa.

The above said, welcome to Forte Vision’s IP notes section. Whilst we enjoy collaborating on your project(s), the following information delves into the nuanced world of IP that Forte Vision must endeavour to navigate.

In essence, our approach to winning with IP is rooted in avoidance of disputes and wrongdoings. We create our own designs and actively manage data obtained for this purpose, pre-qualifying the source(s), legitimate needs and aims of each and every project prior to accepting it. Any data obtained by 3D scanning will always be deleted upon project completion. This helps protect everyone involved. Clients are strongly advised to conduct due diligence with a qualified legal expert, especially in case concerns about IP infringement arise. Additionally, we strongly suggest that you explore resources like the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to identify registered IP, at least as a starting point. Further information can be found here within a 2015 IPO document by CIPPM. 3D Engineers gets a mention on page 43 (listed as 49).

Beyond this, we present additional perspectives for discussion, showcasing the complexity of IP and how Forte Vision tries to stay ahead of the curve.


Our stance on replicas encompasses two key views:

  1. Embracing all cars within the inclusive “classic car enthusiast” community, recognising the joy they bring to individuals.
  2. Acknowledging the shifting legal landscape and enforcement of IP rights. Recent global case law clearly draws attention to increased scrutiny, potentially raising concerns about services as facilitators of forgery, for example using 3D scanning, 3D printing and 3D databases of vehicle data. With this view, assisting with the creation of replicas, for example, of vehicles covered by IP, is not sensible.

On balance, Forte Vision is of the second view.


As we said above, the legal landscape has shifted, with an active enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights by IP holders such as car manufacturers.

Cases of replicas and recreations facing destruction, border seizures, and legal action for their sale are increasingly common worldwide.

Recent global case law prompts Forte Vision to proactively consider potential facilitation of forgery through the body bucks we create. We don’t want to be cast in the role of forger or accessory to such. Unthinkable scenarios from less than five years ago are now a reality, necessitating forward-thinking for both us and our clients. The legal world is adept at generating new streams of income.

Handling of heritage by most modern car manufacturers is often not best practice, which is still evolving in its own right. Having witnessed first-hand the recreation attempts of today’s manufacturers, it’s evident that they often lack insight into their own historical cars’ original construction and assembly methods compared to specialists facing legal challenges.

Many manufacturers, read IP owners, initially neglected heritage until it became profitable. While not morally correct, they do possess IP rights, negatively impacting longstanding businesses that have supported vehicle owners for decades.

As one of the very few businesses globally using CAD to recreate out-of-production vehicles entirely, we emphasise the impracticality of this undertaking in real life, unless one possesses substantial time, money, or existing original parts. Forte Vision recreated every part of a Bugatti Type 35 in CAD from extensive research, 3D scans, plans, and sketches. It took almost a decade. Manufacturing these parts traditionally to achieve accuracy presents a formidable challenge, and it would be financially unfeasible for a manufacturer unless charging exorbitant amounts.

We empathise with owners of, for example, original AC Cobra or Jaguar C-Type vehicles, who continually face queries about their cars being replicas from people who can’t tell the difference. A car is more than just a body shape; it comprises thousands of parts, providing a tactile experience, smell, sound, and a unique sensory blend. Most replicas fall short in replicating these nuances, making 100% accuracy unlikely.

Using a logo from a manufacturer not involved in the car’s creation is not good form in our view. While a car may feature an engine from that maker, the rest is often incorrect. Cars with separate chassis may present a different case, as exemplified by Bentley originally supplying a chassis for body manufacturing elsewhere and a car still retaining the Bentley name, for example.

An early 2024 interaction between a marque specialist and manufacturer’s IP representative, illustrates the aggressive stance of major car manufacturers. When discussing heritage and client support, the specialist faced a curt response to the defence of his own work, which he saw as helping the manufacturer. The IP representative’s disinterest in this argument, lack of knowledge about the models and effectively cut-to-the-chase point stripped out all justification from the specialist to his sympathetic and painstaking work, it was simply work that created things protected by IP and was therefore not allowed in any instance. A direct ultimatum to cease operations and destroy tooling under threat of legal action was issued immediately.

In another example, being UK-based and valuing accuracy, it’s frustrating to witness competitors creating full-size bucks from model toy data, also frequently infringing copyright and IP as well as leading to inevitable disappointment in the finished product.

Such practices undermine the live-and-let-live argument for replicas, especially when the deception is glaringly obvious. Competitors exploiting brands is evident, but the Forte Vision website and work refrains from such e.g. including the use of standalone brand imagery, aligning with UK IP rules to avoid financial consequences. Our work stands proudly for itself and not hooked on that of others before.

Despite UK IP rules, there’s an ongoing trend in other geographical regions boasting about creating bucks or selling 3D data for halo cars, such as the 250 GTO and Mercedes SLR. This practice may have consequences for them over time.

So the above said, and to re-iterate, our heart says give people what they want, but pragmatically that is now not possible in many cases. This is, as Rafaelli puts it, your chance to become a manufacturer yourself and put your own name on it. Then you can be the IP holder, with all the power!


A case that sums up nuance and our level of caution.

It was requested by a client, and subsequently we were given permission by the owner, to 3D laser scan one of our hero cars: the Aston Martin Zagato, specifically 2 VEV. This Zagato is arguably the most special of a run of incredible cars.

The 3D scan was for a model company. So, first point, the model company own the data created from the scan.

Being outside the range of the “normal” Aston Martin Zagato shapes, we had ideas that a car body buck could be marketed from the data. Therefore, we asked the owner if this was OK? He said yes, as he did not own the copyright to the shape. He did however mention in passing that the numberplate had some form of legal status. Armed with this information, we approached the model company and paid them a one-off fee to use the data for our purposes.

Many years go by and being busy, we have not done anything with the data.

Two situations then occurred:

  1. The car was sold. We have no clue, having not enquired, who the new owner is.
  2. We knew, via his son, the prolific automotive author Graham Robson. In Graham’s book about the Ford RS200 he mentions a situation that occurred with a particular chassis number. This caused the existing owner of the car to go legal from the USA, threatening to sue Mr. Robson as the stated information in the book had devalued his car. In the owner’s opinion. Mr. Robson spent the last year of his life, partly, dealing with legal matters. Not good.

The above considered, we have shelved any thoughts of creating and marketing a buck for this car. It is not a difficult thought process to see how the new owner, if so inclined, could get upset about their unique car not being so unique any more. They have never given permission as the previous owner had.

A couple of further legal details re the car: 1) Its well know, possibly iconic(?) registration number plate. 2) Also, you can see hanging on the wall in the image, some crash damaged bodywork. Someone back in the day had the foresight to keep these elements. “Original” cars have been created from less.

To sum up the above, potentially fighting in the courts someone who can afford a vehicle like this is not on our agenda. If the owner reads this, we would love to see the car again without a scanner! Perhaps be a passenger in it? Please.


Our terms and conditions require that you secure the vehicle owner’s permission for a 3D scan of a vehicle.

Once we complete the scan and data transfer, you assume full control of the information. We promptly delete it from our system.

Requests to create a buck for a car from major names like Bugatti, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Porsche and Maserati must be accompanied by written justification demonstrating a genuine need. This may involve being a car restorer or owning a car requiring data (a buck) for repairs. Another legitimate reason may be 3D scanning the car to create a historical record as an insurance for potential future repairs. This is something that we have done before for an iconic American racing car and made perfect sense – as well as a very relieved owner – when the car was crash damaged during an event. We are eager to undertake such projects, just need to cover our position as explained above.

We’ve encountered instances where the stated purpose of a project turned out to be different to the reality, such as a “bit of fun” evolving into a business. Consequently, our terms and conditions now feature an indemnity clause, providing us protection if the data or buck is utilized for replica production, leading to legal consequences.


Opportunity arises from the above. Does the world truly need another Jaguar C-Type replica? Be original! Consider the Forte Vision Jaguar-style concept car below. A little-known fact, as stated in his biography, is that William Lyons, Jaguar’s founder, drew inspiration for his XK grill design from a 1949 motor show Alfa Romeo. If this concept becomes reality, the grill, for instance, would be altered to resemble something unique, distancing the car from any Jaguar heritage. Arrive anywhere in a Forte Vision vehicle and proudly state that you’ve crafted your own bespoke car, without any linguistic gymnastics explaining the badge on your car. It will be something unique to take pride in.

Travel anywhere, living a life free from IP lawyers or legal involvement. Enjoy your travels.

Embrace originality! Building a car should be enjoyable. Your choices. Your ideas. Your car.


Summing up the complexities and challenges in the realm of IP, we reiterate our commitment to providing innovative solutions while adhering to the highest standards of ethical conduct. The classic car enthusiast community faces evolving legal dynamics, and Forte Vision strives to navigate these challenges with foresight and integrity.

Like what you see? Then please complete the form below to start your bespoke car/body buck journey.



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