Volkswagens plea for refraining use of the term GTI by Suzuki renders disregarded

Saturday 24 March 2012, 12:29 PM by Vikas Yogi

The bestselling model of the German automaker Volkswagen, Golf GTI has lost the petition filed against Suzuki for non-continuance of the name GTI in their flagship car, Swift GTi. Volkswagen had registered the suit on the ground that the use of the word ‘GTI’ by the segment competitor would mislead the buyers.

The company in the first place had registered a complaint with the European Union OHIM trademark office to restrain the use of the name GTI by the Japanese automaker Suzuki but it was disregarded as the authority found the complaint to be baseless.

Volkswagen later on moved to European Court of Justice, which agreed to the decision pronounced by the OHIM that this would not result in any form of confusion and rejected the plea of the company to prevent the use of the word GTI by Suzuki.

The decision was firmly announced as, "The average consumer in Sweden, the Benelux, Germany, France, Italy and Austria would not assume that all vehicles, parts and accessories come from the same manufacturer simply on the basis of the combination of the three letters "GTI" and accordingly any likelihood of confusion is excluded."

Volkswagen has owned the right to use the term in the countries like France, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden and the Netherlands. Moreover, the term has been also utilized by other international automakers such as Mitsubishi, Toyota, Rover, Nissan, Rover and Peugeot due to which the complaint filed by VW was termed invalid.