Nissan and BMW fight over the letter "M"
BMW and Nissan each have too much money.
So, they decided to share some of their money with British lawyers.
That, at any rate, is the net effect of a lawsuit between the two companies in England, over the letter “M.”
BMW, of course, uses the letter “M” to denote its high performance models, and thereby to increase substantially its per car profit margins.
Nissan, however, also uses the letter “M.” In the Infiniti line, it denotes a more luxurious version.
reat Britain has trademark laws. So BMW sued Nissan, claiming that Nissan had infringed its trademarks and was, consequently, liable for a bunch of money in damages.
For using the letter “M.“
BMW won the battle, but lost the war.
The British court found that the use of the letter “M” by Nissan violated the law because it could create confusion between the brands.
Score one for BMW.
But Nissan ended up winning the war because numerous witnesses testified that they had no difficulty distinguishing a BMW from an Infiniti.
That meant that even though using “M” could create confusion between the brands, it actually hadn’t.
And that meant BMW had suffered no real loss, so it couldn’t get any money in damages.
The lawyers, of course.
But BMW and Nissan still have too much money.
They’re both appealing.