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Audi roadblock to Holden Sportback name

Name games: Holden has referred to its 2018 liftback Commodore as Sportback – a name that Audi has trademarked in Australia.

Holden’s Sportback working name for Commodore hatch locked away by Audi

Holden logo8 Nov 2016

By RON HAMMERTON

HOLDEN might have to find a fresh description for its new-generation liftback Commodore that, in early briefings to journalists, has been dubbed Sportback.

A search of Australian trademarks by GoAuto has confirmed that Sportback is a registered trademark of Audi AG, which uses it to describe hatchbacks such as the five-door A1, A3, A5 and A7.

The trademark was registered in Australia in 2004, and is current until 2023.

It is still in active use by Audi Australia in public relations and marketing materials.

Holden product communications manager Mark Flintoft said the use by Holden of Sportback was a description of the five-door Commodore, not a model designation, in similar fashion to sedan or wagon.

He said official names for Commodore variants had yet to be announced.

The new imported model’s release is more than a year away, in February 2018.

Unlike the current locally made Commodore that comes in sedan and wagon formats, the Opel-built Commodore will come in two five-door variants, a liftback hatch and wagon.

In the United Kingdom, the Vauxhall Insignia liftback’s name has been confirmed as Grand Sport, while the wagon version has been named Sport Tourer.

Holden will have no trademark concerns if it chooses to continue with the Sportwagon name for its Commodore wagon, as this has been a registered trademark of General Motors in Australia since 2008 when it was applied to the VE Commodore station wagon.

Rival Ford has run into trademark issues with its Territory SUV replacement, the Edge. The Edge trademark is held by Toyota which has applied it to variants of its RAV4.

As GoAuto reported in August, Ford has asked Toyota for permission to use the Edge name for the American-built large SUV that will be launched in Australia in 2018, replacing the locally made Territory that went out of production with the Falcon in October.

Ford and Toyota spokespersons both told GoAuto last week that they had no news on the SUV naming issue.

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