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Judge Says Republic Industries Won't Have To Pay CarMax $50 Million

Nov. 05, 1998

- Upholds Republic's Right to Use 'AutoNation USA' Brand -

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas today overturned a $50 million jury award against Republic Industries (NYSE: RII) in the Company's recent trademark dispute with CarMax. The judge also independently confirmed the jury's finding that Republic has the unrestricted use of its "AutoNation USA" brand name.

In his ruling, the judge also agreed with the jury's finding that AutoNation USA had not infringed on a CarMax marketing slogan. The judge ruled that "this case is closed," noting later that AutoNation USA name entitled to the judgment as "a matter of law."

Steven R. Berrard, President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Republic Industries, said that he was "elated" at the rulings, and that the Company would evaluate the best ways to use the AutoNation USA brand. "We are putting this matter behind us, and starting immediately, we will focus our efforts to build and leverage the AutoNation USA brand," he said.

"Since opening our first AutoNation USA megastore in 1995, Republic has invested millions of dollars to promote, market and merchandise the AutoNation USA brand," Mr. Berrard continued. "During this time, AutoNation USA has grown tremendously, fulfilling our promise of improving consumers' vehicle buying and ownership experiences.

"Free of the uncertainty of the CarMax litigation, AutoNation USA will move aggressively to roll-out our 'no haggle pricing,' Internet browsing and other initiatives nationwide," Mr. Berrard stated. " We're very pleased the jury recognized our ownership of the AutoNation USA brand, which we have so zealously tended."

Republic Industries, Inc. is the world's largest automotive retailer. The Company owns the nation's largest group of franchised automotive dealerships and operates the AutoNation USA pre-owned vehicle megastore chain. Republic also owns and operates National Car Rental System, Inc., Alamo Rent-A-Car, Inc. and CarTemps USA.

SOURCE Republic Industries, Inc.
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