• What do a high-speed train, mascara, a tissue or a plastic lunch box have in common? As with the AVE (high-speed), some companies have generated such high levels of innovation, quality and trust, that their registered trademarks have come to be used as a synonym for the product itself and similar products made any other company.
  • As is the case of these brands, many people remain unaware that AVE is only Renfe's high-speed service; and that if any other high-speed train, whether national or not, is referred to using that term, it is only because more than 30 years of excellence have penetrated so deeply into the collective unconscious that even the official RAE Spanish language dictionary defines the term as high-speed train. Academics, however, offer a reminder that it is a Spanish trademark.

So exactly what is AVE?

The AVE is a commercial passenger rail transport service provided by Renfe, using trains that can travel at 300 km/h, with a cafeteria and restaurant service and different spaces of comfort.

AVE is also a trademark registered by Renfe with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office, with a European Certificate of Registration issued by the European Union Intellectual Property Office.

However, in popular, journalistic and even political language, it is often used as a generic term both for trains (Spanish or foreign) and for infrastructures. In this way, it is common to read and hear expressions such as "Construction of the AVE", "The AVE of the desert", "China is the country with the most kilometres of AVE", "AVE station" or even "Slow AVE". Almost inevitably, once other competitors launched on the Spanish market, people referred to the AVE offered by this operator or that.

This use represents the implicit recognition of this Renfe product, synonymous with reliability, quality, punctuality and good service, a service that has been renewing its visual identity since April 2022. AVE is considered a Renowned Trademark, giving it, on account of its degree of recognition amongst the general public, an additional level of legal protection.

Renfe is a member of the Forum of Renowned Brands of Spain, an institution that named Renfe AVE as an Ambassador of Marca España in 2013, on account of the international importance of the AVE brand.

So, use the term however you like, but remember: There is only one AVE.