Automakers trademark all sorts of things, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll ever use them. From old outdated nameplates to inexplicable new made up words, automakers reserve the rights to a bunch of different wordmarks for a myriad of reasons.
We recently stumbled across one very confusing trademark filing submitted by Audi to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The German company moved to legally reserve the word’ Adui’ with the USPTO, effectively reserving the right to market its misspelled name. A filing for ‘Adui’ was also made in Germany.
We can’t possibly imagine what Audi would want with ‘Adui’. The automaker filed it under multiple trademark classifications, most of them covering random consumer products such as hats and clothing, stationery, computers, toys, games decorations and more. It was also filed under Nice classification 12, though, which is for automobiles.
There’s only one thing we think this could be for: reducing the ability to make knock-off goods. We’ve all seen sunglasses labeled ‘Oakey’ instead of ‘Oakley’ or a Chanel Purse labeled ‘Canel’. At a quick glance, these counterfeit products could pass as the real thing. If Audi reserves the right to ‘Adui’, perhaps it could have more grounds for legal action against those who print counterfeit Audi goods, such as hats and shirts, with the misspelt word printed on it.
If that’s the case, Audi may also want to know that the Adui.com web page is for sale. Better pick that up before someone else does and begins running a shady pre-owned Audi sales business off of it.
a version of this article first appeared on fourtitude.com