3 December 2018Trademarks

BMW secures TM victory over Segway owner Ninebot

BMW, the owner of car brand Mini, has secured a court victory in Germany over the use of its trademarks in a promotional video for electric scooters.

The video in question was released to advertise the Ninebot Mini Pro, a hands-free, two-wheeled product made by Chinese company Ninebot and distributed in Europe by electronics company KSR Group. Ninebot owns the well-known brand of personal transporters, Segway.

BMW filed proceedings in the District Court of Hamburg in December 2017, claiming that its Mini trademarks had been used without authorisation in the video.

In the advert, a man is seen steering a Ninebot Mini Pro scooter before stopping in a car park and opening the boot of a Mini-branded car to store his scooter inside.

BMW claimed that Ninebot intentionally chose to feature Mini cars and the famous Mini wings logo to benefit from the “outstanding repute of BMW’s trademarks”, according to a BMW release shared with WIPR.

In its decision, handed down on September 27, but the written version of which was released in October, the court agreed with BMW.

The court held that the ‘Mini’ trademarks had been used in a non-descriptive manner and that KSR Group had taken unfair advantage of the repute of BMW’s famous Mini-wings logo.

KSR filed an appeal against the decision on November 2 at the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg.

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