Volkswagen of America, Inc. ("VWoA") is a subsidiary of and the exclusive U.S. importer of cars manufactured by Volkswagen AG ("VWAG") and as such, VWoA is charged with protecting trademarks associated with those cars. VWAG or VWoA own and use the following words, letters and symbols, among others, as trademarks, service marks and trade names.
These marks have been registered or submitted for registration by VWAG or VWoA in the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO"). Several of these marks are registered in the color blue as well as black. These registrations cover not only the use of these marks in the color blue, but in any other color as well.
The numbers of the USPTO Principal Register registrations are: 617,131; 631,649; 653,695; 790,621; 791,311; 804,869; 808,381; 815,632; 819,297; 2,059,841. Other registered trademarks of VWAG in the USPTO include, but are not limited to: BEETLE 1,014,346; BUG 1,088,911; JETTA 1,176,044; PASSAT 1,468,206; GOLF 1,361,724; GTI 1,540, 381; EUROVAN 1,512,598.
VWoA will object to any use whatever of a trademark or service mark belonging to VWAG or VWoA and used as the name of, or as the means of identifying, any business, Internet domain name, website, service or product not having its source in VWAG, one of its subsidiaries, or one of its licensees. Equally, objection will be raised to any use for these purposes of a part of any such mark (e.g. Volks), or of the likeness of a Volkswagen vehicle, or of any word or expression synonymous in the popular mind with Volkswagen as, for example, Bug or Beetle, as the name of or as the means of identifying any business, Internet domain name; website; the service, sale or repair of Volkswagen vehicles; or of parts or accessories for such vehicles. VWoA will also object to the use of the encircled VW logo as a decoration or link button on any Internet website not having its source in VWAG, one of its subsidiaries, or one of its licensees.
Examples of infringing and objectionable uses of Volkswagen trademarks are:
(1) Use of a mark as part of a trade name, domain name, or corporate name, such as Volks City; Old Volks Home; Volkswagen Center; www.johnsvw.com; www.Ilovevolkswagens.com; or by a business specializing in the sale or repair of Volkswagen products, The New Beetle Shop.
(2) Use of the mark alone or set off from its background, or dominating its surroundings by reason of size, color or style of lettering, such as a sign reading VOLKSWAGEN.
(3) Use of the mark as an adjective to qualify or designate services, as, for instance, Volkswagen Sales.
(4) Use of the mark as an adjective to qualify or designate services, as, for instance, Volkswagen Service or Volkswagen Repair.
(5) Use of the mark as an adjective to qualify or designate goods, as, for instance, Volkswagen Parts, unless such goods have their source with or are expressly licensed by VWAG.
On the other hand, VWAG does not want to interfere in any way with the right of any person engaged in the sale or repair of Volkswagen products to advise the public of this fact in a fashion that is not misleading. Accordingly, there is no objection to the use of Volkswagen (or its equivalent, the initials VW) provided all of the following conditions are met:
(a) Volkswagen is used denotatively as part of an informational statement referring to Volkswagen products, as, for instance, in We Sell Volkswagen Automobiles; Repair of Volkswagen Vehicles; or Parts for Volkswagen Cars;
(b) "Volkswagen" is not set out either alone or in type face, mounting, spacing, illumination, format or material contrasting with or larger than the surrounding text, nor in Memphis Bold lettering, nor in a color combination involving blue; and
(c) "Volkswagen" is not displayed in such a way that members of the public are likely to regard it as a trade name or as part of a trade name.
VWoA has a licensing program in place for enthusiast websites and clubs. If you fit these categories and are interested in being licensed, please visit us at www.vw.com to review the application requirements.
If you wish to manufacture products that include our trademarks, you must complete a merchandise license application and submit it directly to VWAG. To request a merchandise license application, please send your e-mail request to VWTrademarks@vw.com.