Back on 2009, Audi Ag and Vw Ag tried to register TDI as a trademark.However, the final verdict was not in favor of Vag group, and the European court rejected the request.
Audi failed because the letters “TDI” in the opinion of the judges are not a mark, but an abbreviation for a technical property.
The acronym stands generally for “Turbo Diesel Injection” or “Turbo Direct Injection“.
Under current law, such information, which only describes the characteristics of a product, cannot be registered as a trademark. However, Audi claims that the company has registered “TDI” in many countries
From the official document:
Action brought on 14 August 2009 — Audi and Volkswagen v OHIM (TDI)
Applicants: Audi AG (Ingolstadt, Germany) and Volkswagen AG (Wolfsburg, Germany) (represented by P. Kather, lawyer)
Defendant: Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs)
Form of order sought
— Annul the decision of the First Board of Appeal of the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market of 14 May 2009 (Case R 226/2007-1);
— Order the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market to pay the costs.
Pleas in law and main arguments
Community trade mark concerned: The word mark ‘TDI’ for goods in Class 12 (application No 3179058)
Decision of the Examiner: Registration refused
Decision of the Board of Appeal: Appeal dismissed