Car companies love selling merchandise. Why wouldn’t they? It gives them another form of income by selling hilariously overpriced key chains and hats to suckers (like myself). So each and every automaker has its own little ship on its website and in the dealerships there are t-shirts and hats for sale handing up on the shop wall, all so the guy coming in for his routine oil change can buy a hat that says “Lexus” on it so everyone that walks past him on the street knows he’s retired. It’s actually kind of lame, but I’m guilty of wanting little automotive memorabilia myself.
Well, it turns out that Audi is no longer allowed to sell merchandise of its extremely popular Audi TT sports car in India. The reason for this is that another Indian garment company, TT Industries, has the trademark for the brand name ‘TT’. So TT Industries filed a plea under the Trademarks Act claiming that Audi was violating its trademark. As of July 21st, the New Delhi High Court has issued an interim restraint on Audi from selling merchandise with the TT name on any of it. So no more Audi TT hat for you.
I’m not so sure if Audi will even bother to fight this, as I don’t think the selling of Audi TT merchandise in India is a large form of income for the German automaker. However, Audi may just fight this on principle. It’s yet to be seen if a permanent ban on Audi TT merchandise will occur, but a court notice for trademark violation has been sent to Audi offices in Germany.