2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
The cooperation between VW and Suzuki has not been so successful so far. Now the Wolfsburg had to accept a defeat on another level.
Europe's largest car manufacturer Volkswagen has suffered a defeat in court in the trademark dispute against the Japanese manufacturer Suzuki. Volkswagen cannot take action against the SWIFT GTi brand registered by Suzuki because there is no likelihood of confusion between this brand and the VW brand "GTI". That was decided by the EU court in Luxembourg on Wednesday (case T-63/09).
Many automakers use GTI
In 2003, Suzuki registered the SWIFT GTi brand for cars and their parts and accessories with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). VW is the owner of the GTI brand and has filed an objection. The Wolfsburg argued that there was a risk of confusion with the GTI brand. The Luxembourg judges saw it differently and dismissed VW's action against the office's decision.
The EU court pointed out that many car manufacturers across Europe such as Rover, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Suzuki and Toyota use the letter combination GTI to indicate the technical characteristics of different models. The industry usually uses the term Gran Turismo Injection (GTI for short) as a type abbreviation for sporty cars with gasoline injection engines. There are also other brands with the GTI seal, such as Peugeot GTI or Citroën GTI, according to the judges. The fancy word SWIFT used by Suzuki at the beginning of the mark applied for is completely sufficient to distinguish it. (dpa)
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