• Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • In January of 1949, a Volkswagen “Type 1,” or Beetle, was shipped to New York City by Ben Pon, Sr., a Dutch businessman and the world’s first official Volkswagen importer. 
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
As first reported by Automotive News, a German court presented its ruling in favor of Volkswagen on a lawsuit regarding the original designer and copyright holder of the Volkswagen Beetle design. The court's statement tells us that the lawsuit was brought by the daughter of late car designer Erwin Komenda, who worked for Ferdinand Porsche in the 1930s. She alleged that the Beetle design was her father's, and so Volkswagen owed her family money on sales of the Beetles after 2014. Earlier models were subject to the statute of limitations.

The court did recognize the right of Komenda's daughter to bring the lawsuit as Erwin Komenda had clearly been an employee of Porsche and involved in the development of the Beetle. But a couple of things led the court to side with Volkswagen. The drawings Komenda's daughter brought forward were deemed not to be unique enough to have proven it was entirely his design. The court cited other similar cars including the Tatra V570 and Mercedes-Benz Type 130 as having been similar inspiration for the Beetle design. Additionally, Komenda's daughter could not prove that her father had helped put together the final proposal and presentation for the original KdF-wagen Beetle.

The court also found that current Beetles are significantly different in design from past models. As such, they should be unaffected by any copyright claims connected to older Beetle designs or other similar designs.

Volkswagen Beetle Information

Volkswagen Beetle

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