7 thoughts on “Volkswagen files complaint over my-gti.com domain name”

  1. Classic case of a big company trying to protect it’s copyrights and trademarks. However, while I am not a lawyer, I think you have rights here. Firstly, you should get legal advice. Secondly, you should determine if you are indeed doing anything illegal outside of the domain name dispute – their claim is that you are using “the domain to offer copyright infringing software which is intended for the navigation systems used in the cars”. Thirdly, they may not have full and complete rights to the label “GTI” since Peugeot also use this as a model designator. Finally, if you own or owned a GTI and you were documenting aspects of your ownership, I would have thought the phrase “My GTI” could apply to you contrary to their assertion that you have “no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name”.

  2. Thank you for your feedback. On the last point the domain was registered after the purchase of a Golf GTI and has documented the many modifications that I have performed. I have been heavily involved in the GTI community both forums and meets for many years as well.

  3. Volkswagen are not the only automotive manufacturer that uses GTI as a variant within it’s range.

    GTI is short for Grand Tourer Injection, a car model variant – but not manufacturer specific, as the following marques also apply GTI to variant’s within their range:

    Maserati 3500 GTI, the first GTI car ever, from 1961
    Peugeot 205 GTI, a famous hot hatch
    Suzuki Swift GTi, Suzuki GTi variant, and
    Volkswagen Golf GTI, a famous hot hatch.

    There is also GTi Engineering, an auto racing team.

    I think Volkswagen’s attack on the site name “gti” may not pass the ‘pub-test’ and could prove to be an interesting case, should Volkswagen turn their attention to Maserati, Peugot and Suzuki.

  4. BMW tried this with many garages etc when they took over Rover years ago. Everywhere with the word “Mini” in it got a cease and desist letter from BMW’s lawyers. I remember the courts (in the UK anyway) kicking it in to touch and telling BMW not to be so silly. Might be worth looking that up.

  5. Best of luck with fighting this. I think that Stevel has a good point about the generic use of the term GTI. Is VW really trying to annoy the very community that buys its cars, particularly as it has been caught out with dieselgate and exaggerating petrol economy figures on other cars.

  6. they are more concerned about the RNS updates and are saying copyright infringing software, id take down the links to firmwares but i dont know how or the legality of obtaining them through however you may have. again i would seek legal advice on this but they are saying they have trademarked “RNS” which is the start of the model number.

    the last line about hiding domain registrations just do a whois on vw.com and it lists a company, not a person. they are saying its been registered in bad faith but the reality is you are just protecting your own privacy.

    seek legal advice but under no terms hand them the domain. you could offer to sell it to them at an over inflated price that they may happily pay.

    plus note, they lost the trademark to “gti” in a european court http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent/news/volkswagen-loses-gti-trademark-b-a65936/

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