No se habla espanol in Austria: Nissan finally allowed to use ‘Primera’

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Nissan applied in Austria for the word mark ‘Primera’ for automobiles in 2008. After some toing and froing, the Austrian PTO denied registration in 2010 on the grounds that ‘primera’ was a Spanish word meaning ‘first, first class, primary’ and thus the Austrian public would understand the term as merely describing the quality of the cars. Five years later, Nissan has moved on and no longer manufactures a car under the name of ‘Primera’. However, the Austrian trademark system has finally let it have the mark.

The Board of Appeal had upheld the PTO’s decision and further held that Spanish is a language taught at school; also, many Austrians would know basic words from their holidays. Moreover, the German word ‘prima’ had the same stem and originated from Spanish…

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