Nissan Trademarks

Headquartered in Japan, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd is a multinational automobile manufacturer. Trading as Nissan Motor Corporation, but often referred to as simply “Nissan”, the car creator was founded in December 1933. 

Japanese founder Yoshisuke Aikawa became president of Nihon Sangyo, a foundries and auto parts dealer, in 1928. The name “Nissan” was created after using it as a ticker on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as an abbreviation of the company name – Nihon Sangyo. This company became Nissan “zaibatsu” – a powerful business conglomerate in the Empire of Japan that grew to include 74 firms. Its size and influence meant that it could control significant parts of the Japanese economy during the Meiji period until World War II. It was the fourth largest zaibatsu in Japan during WWII. This company is now known as Nissan Group, which focuses on manufacturing and insurance. 

It wasn’t until 1933 that Nissan entered the automotive market after acquiring the Tokyo-based “Datsun” car manufacturer. Datsuns were the first mass-produced Japanese vehicles that had a major impact on the U.S. market during the 1950s thanks to their unique automotive style. 

Nissan is now part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and has been since 1999 (Mitsubishi joined in 2016). This alliance is a partnership between Japan’s car manufacturers, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, as well as Renault of France, who also make automobiles. Until as recently as January 2023, Renault held a huge stake in Nissan, but an overhaul made it so that both manufacturers had equal voting stakes, though Nissan still holds a 34% controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors. 

The car manufacturer has racked up some impressive accolades over its time, including being the sixth-largest automaker in the world in 2017. Though they were the ninth largest in 2022. Nissan was the largest car manufacturer in North America in 2014 and was the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer in 2018.  

Nissan now has three manufacturing plants in the USA, two in Japan, one in Sunderland, U.K., two in Mexico, and two in China, as well as individual sites in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Korea, Brazil, Argentina, and Egypt.

Famous Nissan Trademarks

Nissan is a huge international car manufacturer that makes a whole range of car models. As a result, they have a very extensive trademark portfolio, with a total of 405 trademarks registered so far with USPTO. Let’s take a look at some of Nissan’s most famous trademarks, registered by Nissan Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha. 


“Datsun” was the first thing that Nissan Motor Co trademarked. Nissan took over the existing motor company in 1934 and didn’t start phasing out the brand until 1981 when they started using the Nissan name globally. During the 70s, the Datsun car was known for its fuel efficiency and became the go-to car for those fed up with unreliable gas guzzlers. Nissan revived the Datsun brand again 30 years later in 2013, manufacturing it in India. But it was discontinued once again in 2022. The Datsun name was trademarked in 1959 and applies to:

  • Ships and vehicles-namely, automobiles, buses, motor trucks, patrol cars, motorcycles, ambulances, truck tractors, tank trucks, and parts thereof

Nissan logo

The Nissan logo was the second thing trademarked by the car manufacturer. Though their logo has changed significantly over time, the first logo they trademarked looks very similar to the logo they’ve used since 1990 and still currently use. The logo features a circle with “NISSAN” written in block capitals in a rectangle over the circle, overextending it on each side. This trademark was registered in 1959 and applies to:

  • Ships and vehicles-namely, automobiles, buses, motor trucks, patrol cars, motorcycles, ambulances, truck tractors, tank trucks, and parts thereof

Read more: How to trademark a logo

Nissan wordmark

Just the wordmark for the Nissan brand wasn’t registered for a trademark until 1985, 26 years after they registered their first batch of trademarks in 1959. The trademark for the wordmark has been updated over the years and now applies to:

  • Gasoline-powered and diesel-powered internal combustion engines, and rocket-powered motors, and parts thereof, all for machines and for marine, air, and space vehicles; machine couplings, power transmission belts, water pumps, and electric current generators, all for machines and for marine, air and space vehicles; conveyors and conveyor belts
  • Printed matter, namely, newsletters and magazines in the field of motor vehicles, pens, pencils, business forms, note pads, calendars, diaries, decals
  • Clothing, namely, shirts, T-shirts, sports shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, sweaters, and headwear, namely, caps and hats
  • Motor vehicle lease – purchase financing services
  • Flashlights
  • Metal keys for locks and metal key chain holders
  • License plate frames
  • Motor vehicle dealership services
  • Paper banners
  • Cloth and plastic banners
  • Motor vehicle repair and maintenance services
  • Motor vehicle dealership services
  • Motor vehicle leasing services
  • Printed matter, namely, newsletters and magazines in the field of motor vehicles, writing portfolios, ball-point and fountain pens, business forms, calendars, diaries, and posters 
  • Toys and playthings, namely, toy vehicles, model vehicles, and related accessories sold as units, games, and pedal cars
  • Floor mats for vehicles
  • Computer software games; computer storage devices, namely, flash drives
  • Hand tools, namely, screwdrivers and multi-functional tools, namely, combination nippers and wire cutters
  • Luggage, backpacks, and umbrellas; luggage tags
  • Bar stools; furniture, namely, chairs
  • Housewares and beverageware, namely, mugs, cups; thermally insulated beverage containers; plastic water bottles sold empty; portable coolers; camping grills 
  • Towels
  • Based on 44(e)) Ornamental cloth patches and embroidered emblems
  • Based on 44(e)) Cigarette lighters not for land vehicles; ashtrays
  • Fan belts for motors and engines; timing belts for engines for land vehicles; oil filters; fuel injectors; air filters for motors and engines; fuel pumps for land vehicles; mufflers for motors and engines; catalytic converters; radiators for vehicles; spark plugs
  • Headlamps for vehicles; tail lamps for vehicles
  • Windshield wiper blades; brake rotors for land vehicles; vehicle parts, namely, suspension struts; shock absorbers for land vehicles; brake calipers for land vehicles; brake pads for vehicles; airbags; front and rear bumper fascia for vehicles; fenders for vehicles; vehicle hoods; windshields for land vehicles; door assemblies for land vehicles consisting of front and rear door panels, doors and front and rear door skins; deck lids for land vehicles; vehicle parts, namely, grilles for land vehicles
  • Cuff links; ornamental lapel pins; tie pins; badges of precious metal; trinkets and fobs of precious metal, all the foregoing are offered exclusively through authorized vehicle dealerships and Nissan’s official websites.


In 1989, Nissan created a division called “INFINITI”. Also made in Japan, the aim was to create luxury vehicles that were different from Nissan’s brand of “everyday” mainstream cars. 

INFINITI was particularly targeted toward the American market and was introduced in North America in November 1989. The Japanese government imposed voluntary export restraints around this time for the U.S. market, making it more profitable to export more expensive cars to the U.S. for automakers. 

The INFINITI wordmark was registered for a trademark in 1988 and the logo was trademarked in 1989. The logo features an oval broken in the middle of the base by an inverted “V” shape. Nissan has said that the INFINITI logo has two meanings – representing a road reaching into the horizon, as well as the mountainous point of Mount Fuji to symbolize its Japanese origins. There are two slightly different versions of the INFINITI logo. The first one has been in use since the brand’s origin in 1989 (as described above). The second is the same logo but in a partially-shaded grey color that has been made to look three-dimensional. This was registered in 2012. Let’s look at the original logo for now. Registered in 1989, it’s been updated throughout the years to cover the following:

  • Motor-driven land vehicles, namely automobiles and structural parts thereof
  • First aid kits for use in automobiles
  • Keys, key holders, and key chains
  • Flashlights
  • Brochures, newsletters, and magazines in the fields of automobiles, ballpoint, and fountain pens, business forms, calendars, diaries 
  • Luggage, carry-on bags, and billfolds
  • Mugs, cups, beverage glasses, and pitchers 
  • Shirts, T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, sweaters, scarves, and hats
  • Wholesale automobile distributorship services and retail
  • Automobile maintenance and repair services
  • Wholesale automobile distributorship services and retail automobile dealership services
  • Financing services for the purchasing and leasing of luxury automobiles
  • Metal key rings
  • Sunglasses
  • Watches
  • Non-metal key rings
  • Towels
  • Toys and playthings, namely, miniature die-cast vehicles, battery operated remote control land vehicles; toy plastic model hobby craft kits, plush toys, stuffed toys, golf balls
  • Passport holders; document holders; book covers; covers, namely, protective covers for vehicle inspection certificates; desktop business card holders; business card boxes made of cardboard; note pads; paperweights; stands for pens and pencils; pencils; pencil holders; stationery; albums, namely, photograph albums; calendars; diaries; coasters of paper; bags of paper or plastic for merchandise packaging; stickers; pen cases
  • Bottle openers, electric and non-electric; coasters for drinkware, not of paper or textile; trays for domestic purposes; crystal beverage glassware; portable coolers, non-electric; statuettes of porcelain, ceramic, earthenware and glass; drinking vessels; pitchers; vases; cloths for cleaning; toilet tissue holders; ceramic tissue box covers; drinking glasses, namely, tumblers made of glass for use as drinking glasses; tumblers made of non-precious metal for use as drinking glasses; plastic water bottle holders and attached carabineer clip sold as a unit
  • Measuring apparatus, namely, sensors for measuring distance; measuring instruments, namely, sensors for measuring distance; batteries and battery cells; fuel cells; intercommunication apparatus; downloadable computer programs for navigation; downloadable electronic automotive service manuals; downloadable electronic publications, namely, owners manuals; anti-theft alarms; protection devices for personal use against accidents, namely, driver’s helmets; electric theft prevention installations comprised of anti-theft alarms; vehicle breakdown warning triangles; encoded keys; inverters; apparatus for recording of sound and images for use in connection with vehicles and motorsport; cases for computers; cases for encoded keys; straps for encoded keys; media storage wallets; cell phone cases; cell phone straps; computer memory devices; blank flash drives; computer mouse devices; mouse pads; spectacles; spectacle cases; sunglasses; eyeglass cords; straps for electronic devices, namely, mobile electronic devices; protective helmets; straps for tablet computers; decorative magnets

Nissan LEAF

In 2018 Nissan was the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer. They have global sales of more than 32,000 all-electric vehicles. The most popular model in their EV range is the fully-electric Nissan LEAF, their top-selling car. It stands just behind the Tesla Model 3, making it the No.2 top-selling EV car globally. The character mark “LEAF” was trademarked in 2012 and applies to:

  • Automobiles and structural parts, therefore; electric automobiles and structural parts thereof

Nissan Ambition 2030 Together We Empower Mobility and Beyond

Nissan unveiled the “Nissan Ambition 2030” in November 2021. The long-term vision was created to guide how they will use electric vehicles and technological innovation to deliver value, and empower mobility for a cleaner, safer, and more inclusive world. 

Nissan released this slogan as an illustration, featuring a gradient golden to light brown circle that encircles the words “NISSAN AMBITION 2030” in black, with the “O” in “AMBITION” being represented by a smaller light brown sphere, and the words “Together we empower mobility and beyond” below the circle in black.”. It was trademarked in December 2021 and is still pending application, but if granted will apply to: 

  • Advertising and publicity services; providing showrooms for the goods of others in the field of automobiles; providing information concerning the commercial sales of motor vehicles; providing information concerning the industry of commercial sales of vehicles and their structural parts and fittings; retail store services and wholesale store services featuring vehicles and their structural parts and fittings

Nissan Stadium

Nissan Stadium was built in August 1999 and serves as a multi-purpose stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s primarily used for football and is home to the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL) as well as the Tigers of Tennessee State University. Nissan Stadium is also used for concerts, public events, meetings, parties, and the annual TransPerfect Music City Bowl – a postseason college football game played each December. The character mark for “Nissan Stadium” was trademarked in 2017 and applies to:

  • Providing stadium facilities for sports and entertainment events; entertainment in the nature of professional football games, sporting events, and athletic competitions; entertainment services, namely, live musical and dance performances; providing stadium facilities for community sporting and cultural events and educational exhibitions; providing sports and entertainment information via a global computer network or a commercial on-line service; production of radio, internet and television programs and live shows featuring football games, sporting events, athletic competitions, exhibitions, and musical, comedy and dance performances

Nissan grille

Nissan has trademarked some of their grille designs. Many of these grille designs take years after filing for a trademark to be registered as they need to be seen as completely unique from competitors and instantly recognizable as different. For example, one Nissan grille design was filed in 2004 and registered in 2009. The illustration trademark covers:

  • Motor vehicles, namely, automobiles, sport utility vehicles, trucks, and structural parts thereof

Dealership service illustrations

Nissan has also registered trademarks for several of their dealership building designs as well as the tall rectangular free-standing displays often seen outside of dealerships. They have several of these design trademarks to their name, but let’s look at the INFINITI dealership illustration for now. The description of the mark is: “The mark consists of the configuration of a building facade. The facade has a flat base, two sides at acute angles from the base, and an asymmetrically curved top suggestive of a sail. On the facade is a pattern of regularly spaced horizontal and vertical lines, as well as an abstract logo and the text “INFINITI” in two places.” This illustration was filed for a trademark in 2007 and registered in 2009, it applies to:

  • Motor vehicle dealership services
  • Motor vehicle repair and maintenance services

Wrapping up

Nissan has been a successful automotive manufacturer since it started in the 1930s. They are now one of the biggest car manufacturers and dealerships in the world, especially since forming an alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi. It’s no wonder that such a huge business has been able to rack up 405 trademarks to its name since it started trademarking its assets in the 50s. 

Nissan is clearly very clued up on trademarking too – they’ve trademarked their brand, name, and logo extensively, as well as car models, distinct car features, vehicle division names and logos, grille designs, dealership designs, marketing slogans, and even corporate slogans. Their trademark portfolio is extensive and operating in such a competitive industry will protect them well from future legal disputes. As a company that’s worth $16 billion and has a revenue of $75 billion, they’ve got themselves well covered. 

Learn more about other famous trademarks here.

Xavier Morales, Esq.

About the Author:

Xavier Morales, Esq.

Mr. Morales founded this trademark law practice in January 2007 with the goal of providing intellectual property expertise to entrepreneurs and businesses around the country. Since then, he has filed more than 6,000 trademarks with the USPTO. You can learn more about Xavier here.

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