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The origins of the company date back to 1930s Nazi Germany, and the project to build the car that would become known as the Beetle. Hitler’s desire that almost anybody should be able to afford a car fitted with a proposal by car designer Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1952) — although much of this design was inspired by the advanced Tatra cars of Hans Ledwinka. The intention was that ordinary Germans would buy the car by means of a savings scheme, which around 336,000 people eventually paid into. Prototypes of the car called the KdF-Wagen (German: Kraft durch Freude = strength through joy), appeared from 1936 onwards (the first cars had been produced in Stuttgart). The car already had its distinctive round shape and air-cooled, flat-four, rear-mounted engine, features similar to the Tatra.

The copyright holder of the internationally-famous VW logo is not to be Nikolai Borg. His suit against the Wolfsburg car concern has been dismissed by the Vienna Business Court. The judges did not deny in any way that Borg had drawn up the design in the 30s and had also delivered it. But the logo itself had already existed for a while prior to this.

The 86-year old Borg, who comes from Sweden originally and now lives in the Tyrol, had taken action in the summer of last year against VW, because he wanted to bring about legal recognition of his copyright to the logo.

He was not concerned about the money but about “historical truth”, announced his lawyer. According to this statement, the graphic artist Borg had been commissioned in 1939 by the then Reich Minister Fritz Todt to prepare designs for the VW emblem. After a logo had been delivered, he was then string along with the story that things were being postponed until after the “Final Victory”. However, when Borg discovered his logo on a vehicle belonging to the Army in 1943, he began to feel he was being cut out.

Yet this action submitted by him sixty years later has remained unsuccessful. The court found in favor of VW. A certain Ludwig Hohlwein had already designed apposite logos in 1920, said an expert on Copyright and Patent Law, Michel Walter. The actual inventor of the VW emblem should however be viewed as Franz Xaver Reimspiess, whose original design had already been submitted in a trademark application from 1938. A more developed emblem which showed the letters in a so-called Strahlenkranz (radiant garland) was, according to Walter, displayed on wheel caps at the Berlin Auto Show in April 1939.

Borg’s lawyer, Meinhard Ciresa, did not want to comment on the judgement for the time being. He wanted to first study the transcript in detail before he thought about the possibility of taking matters further.
(http://hicars.org/) www.volkswagen.com