On 12 July 2019, the European Union General Court ruled in favour of German carmaker Audi over registration of the Audimas trademark as an EU trademark.
Founded in 1931, Audimas is the largest sportswear manufacturer in the Baltic States and a leading company in the development, design and manufacture of sportswear. In Lithuanian, “audimas” has the meaning of “weaving”.
The EU General Court upheld a decision by the EU Intellectual Property Office that the trademark applied for registration by Audimas may be confused with the Audi trademark.
According to the court, “Audi” is the main element in the Audimas mark, which may create a likelihood of confusion for consumers ‒ especially Spanish speakers, who could perceive it as “Audi Plus” or “More Audi” because of the Spanish word “más” which means “more”. The applicant’s argument ‒ that division of Audimas into two verbal elements, “audi” and “mas” ‒ is artificial and unfounded because Audimas has always been written as a single word, with identical spacing between its letters and without any separation between them, left the Court unconvinced. The General Court also noted that, according to case law, consumers pay more attention to the beginning of a mark than to its end.