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Today's tale of litigation between automakers is brought to you by the letter M, which both BMW and Infiniti are claiming rights to use in a Canadian court. Unfortunately for Infiniti, BMW has been using the letter M to designate its many performance variants since 1978 in Germany and 1987 in Canada. Infiniti, however, only registered the names M45 in 2004 and M35 in 2005. As such, Infiniti has lost the battle over M, at least in Canada.

The silly thing is that Infiniti could have avoided being sued by BMW if it had steered clear of using the letter M alone in advertisements. It also produced a model of the G35 coupe it called the M6, which obviously steps on the toes of BMW's own high-end M6 coupe. Had Infiniti gone on just using the M45 and M35 monikers alone, it would likely not be liable for damages in a Canadian court right now. The amount of damages that Infiniti must pay BMW has yet to be determined, but in the meantime it has to "deliver to the plaintiffs [BMW] or to destroy under oath, all literature, invoices, packaging, signs, advertisements, promotional or marketing material, printed or otherwise recorded, in the possession, custody or control of the defendant."

Thanks for the tip, Tom!

[Source: CBC.ca]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      #29. Its also important to note that the first Nissan Z was a 1969 240Z, which is way earlier than BMW's Z. However, I agree with you that these 2 "Z"s are different than this case of "M"s.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Perhaps Nissan should consider questioning BMWs use of the letter Z. Datsun/Nissan has been using the Z desination since 1970 240Z. There was a brief period when no Z was produced by Nissan but the 350Z has been around for several years now. That's a lot longer use of a Z designation than BMWs M.
      BMW thought nothing of using Z3, Z4 badges for their little roadsters..believe Chevy used Z71 or something like that for a pickup truck.
      F... BMW. You've lost a potential customer over a rather petty argument.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The real issue why BMW is suing Infiniti is the fact that the M35 and M45 are stealing customers who would normally by a BMW Since it was introduced in 2005. just look what the G35 did to the 3 series. plus hasnt infiniti been using the M since the the 1990s no compliant then why now? question that.
      • 8 Years Ago
      good. those dirty bastards tried pulling that same crap with Audi and the Q7. screw infiniti. stop trying to compete with the germans.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't see why BMW is losing sleep over this. The M45/35 has nothing against an M6. Stop whining BMW, its not like the M6 is a high production model and carries the bulk of the revenue for the company. They have nothing to worry about. So whats the M45/35 going to be called now?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I can't believe nobody remembers when Nissan sued BMW in the US a few years back. BMW introduced the Z4 and marketed it as the "Z" since it was the same sort of car, but with a different name (Z3). Nissan sued because they've used the Z designation since the '70s (240Z, 260Z, 280Z, and so on). Nissan won the suit and BMW had to stop calling the Z4 simply "the Z."

      I can see why the M35/M45 thing wouldn't be a big deal, but when they used M6 that's just too far. When you're talking about luxury coupes, that's just too close.
      • 8 Years Ago
      There just aren't enough letters in the alphabet :-p
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think BMW did the right thing here. It's not a case of having the letter in the model name, it's how it was used to promote the car. I've seen a M45 billboard and the M6 moniker that was given to the manual G35 and immediately BMW came to mind. Infiniti just wanted to play off that, and they did it in a way that was too obvious. So pay up.
      • 8 Years Ago
      the reason Infiniti is sued, is because in BMW Lingo, M stands for motorsport. Infiniti made a suped up car, and is calling it the new m. if they would have made an suv and called it the m5234, im sure noone would care.
      the Z's, the reason that noone is complaining about this, is because in BMW lingo, Z stands for little 2 seater roadsters/coupes. Chevy has a z and its a pick-up truck. nissan has a z but its not a little 2 seater roadster, besides the Z1 and Z3 came out before the 350Z. and plus, the position of the z -Z4/350Z. maybe if nissan made it Z350 there might be a problem.
      hopefully noone is gonna continue being like the Germans, or the next letter will be X.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Infinity knows that they can't make cars as good as BMW's so they try to trick us by calling them the same thing, maybe they should just try to make better cars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If they made cars with real names, thus wouldn't be a problem.
      • 8 Years Ago
      What goes around comes around. Infiniti made Audi pay big bucks for the "Q" on its Q7. So its payback time.
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