BMW beats Infiniti in battle over M

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!


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