TRADEMARKS | The ECJ on the use of a trademark for motor vehicle spare parts

On 25 January 2024, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down its decisions in case C-334/22 (Audi v QG), concerning AUDI’s right as proprietor of its trademark to prohibit the use of a similar sign on spare parts. The matter of the dispute concerns radiator grilles sold by a motor vehicle spare parts dealer and containing an element designed for the attachment of the famous Audi emblem (i.e., four circles). The ECJ held that this conduct can amount to a trademark infringement, since it consists of use of a trademark and can create a risk of association between the third party and the proprietor of the relevant trademark. In addition, such conduct is not exempted as descriptive use of a trademark.

Newsletter n. 93 – February 2024