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BMW wins ambiguous victory in court battle over the letter 'M'

By Yoann Besnard on 25 July 2007 | Commentaires (1) Comments | Permalink

BMW and Nissan are at war over the use of the 'M' badge. The disagreement started in the nineties when Nissan decided to use the letter M for models sold on the American market under its luxury brand Infinity. BMW was extremely unimpressed by the idea. The German carmaker has been using the letter M to distinguish its high performance models from the standard models since 1979. Nissan people certainly have a lot of nerve. The carmaker even released a sport package called M6, which for BMW is a powerful sports coupé. This was too much for BMW, which decided to sue the Japanese carmaker.

After a ruling in Canada which obliges Nissan to stop using the offending letter and give compensation to BMW to cover damages, it was the British courts' turn to pass judgement. As in all other previous rulings, the British court found Nissan guilty of creating confusion through their use of the letter M. This is one point for BMW. But the court also ruled that consumers were clever enough to tell the difference between a BMW M and an Infinity M. This is one point for Nissan. Nissan cannot use the M badge anymore but BMW can say farewell to any compensation.

Both carmakers intend to appeal.


Posted by: Nestle | Apr 22, 2008 5:01:57 AM

this is very interesting. yet nissan sued audi for using the Q badge on their newest cars. too bad nissan isn't made in germany or is a german car maker.


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