Suzuki was forced to rechristened its small car Splash when it came to launch in India, as the name was already registered as a brand here by rival Ford Motors, which says it may or may not even use the name for its products.
Consequently, Maruti Suzuki launched the global car, presented as a concept car in Paris Motor Show in 2006, in India as Ritz earlier this year.
According to sources, the name 'Splash' has been registered with the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks Registry since August 16, 2002, with the US carmaker Ford Motor Company.
Later Japan's Suzuki Motor Corporation also approached the trademarks authorities for introducing its fifth global model Splash in India through its subsidiary Maruti Suzuki India (MSI). Suzuki had applied for the trademark registration on December 22, 2005, which was eventually withdrawn.
It was a big setback with MSI saying at the time of launch that it could not bring in the car as Splash as it was already registered with "an automobile company" here.
When contacted, Ford India President and Managing Director Michael Boneham told PTI, "We had registered Splash long time ago ... There is nothing specific about Splash at this moment. In the future we may or may not launch a product, named Splash."