Toyota's Logo Misused By UK's Vote Leave Campaign, Company Considers Lawsuit

Trademark infringement is a serious crime, especially when it is used for political purposes. Toyota has recently found itself in the middle of a campaign that targets the UK’s upcoming referendum, in which citizens will decide whether they will stay in the European Union permanently or leave the EU.
2015 Toyota Avensis - Made in UK 3 photos
Flyer that shows Toyota's trademarked logo without the company's permission2015-present Toyota Avensis, made in the UK and sold in the EU
Like the other automakers that were asked if they will depart the country if the UK leaves the EU, Toyota’s official response was that they decline to endorse either side of the campaign.

However, Toyota Motor Manufacturing’s representatives have explained that it would be best for its operations for the UK to remain in the European Union.

Except for Vauxhall, which only sells its cars in the United Kingdom, this is also true. In the case of Opel’s sister brand, leaving or staying in the EU might not make a difference in business, but things might change if they import many components or materials required to build their vehicles.

Coming back to the case of Toyota, the trademark infringement happened on a nationwide leaflet that was edited, printed, and distributed for “Vote Leave,” the side which wants to convince UK residents to leave the European Union. Obtained by Autocar, the leaflet can bee see in the photo gallery.

Toyota’s logo is present in the “Eu Myth Buster” section, along with Vauxhall, Nissan, General Electric, Unilever, and Airbus. The name of the Honda brand has also been included on the list, but its logo is not present. We expect the other companies to show similar dissatisfaction with their inclusion on this flyer, if their permission was not requested.

The British branch of the Japanese corporation has announced it has commenced communication with “Vote Leave” about the trademark issue, but has refused to comment on the outcome. Toyota representatives considered optimal to address the issue before it is too late, and warned the campaigners about a potential legal action for using its trademarked logo without permission.

We would also like to remind you always to think twice when reading flyers for political promoting purposes, as well as fact-checking information and claims made by politicians. The same goes for suspicious news outlets and any websites that promise to sell products with impressive abilities. Being informed is worth it. Use your brain and common sense.


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