Volkswagen has lost one of the battles in its
handbags war with Suzuki, when a court decided that Suzuki could use the 'GTI' name for the Swift. VW claimed it would confuse people, but the court pointed out that someone looking for a Golf GTI is hardly likely to be bamboozled into buying a Swift GTI by accident.
The idea that VW could trademark GTI seems odd to us. We reckon there have been loads of cars that have used the GTI badge over the years, so we asked our tame anorak to check it out (we keep one in a little data-lined cell for instances such as these).
He came up with a list of 38 different non-VW models that have used the GTI badge. In alphabetical order they run from the Citroen AX GTI of the early 1990s to the Toyota MR2 GTI of the late 1990s. Incidentally Suzuki was using the GTI badge on the Swift in the mid 1980s. We know that the wheels of justice grind slowly, but has it really taken VW 25 years to get Suzuki into court?
Peugeot is also currently considering a 208 GTI (details here). It will be fun to see VW arguing that the company that developed the original 205 GTI (still the definitive GTI to some people of a certain age) has no right to use the badge.