Jaguar Land Rover sues Chinese automaker over Evoque copycat: source

Sat Jun 4, 2016 2:20am EDT
 
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By Jake Spring

BEIJING (Reuters) - Jaguar Land Rover is suing Chinese automaker Jiangling Motor for allegedly copying the British firm's Range Rover Evoque, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said - a rare move by a foreign automaker to fight copycats in the world's biggest autos market.

A spokesman for JLR, owned by India's Tata Motors, said in brief emailed comments to Reuters that a court in Beijing's eastern Chaoyang district "served Jiangling with newly filed actions surrounding copyright and unfair competition." He declined to elaborate.

The suit relates to Jiangling's Landwind X7 sport utility vehicle copying the design of the Evoque, JLR's first China-made model that went on sale last year, said the person with knowledge of the legal proceedings, who is not authorized to talk to the media and didn't want to be named.

A spokesman for Landwind declined to comment.

Despite widespread and often blatant copying, global automakers generally don't take legal action in China as they feel the odds of winning against local firms are low. Also, a lawsuit can be bad for branding if the Chinese public think a foreign company is bullying domestic competitors.

If JLR wins its case, it could prompt other automakers to also take legal action, said Chen Jihong, a Beijing-based lawyer at Zhong Lun Law Firm, speeding up a shift to stronger enforcement of intellectual property rights.

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The new Range Rover Evoque is seen at the Jaguar-Land Rover exhibition booth during the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, September 14, 2011. REUTERS/Alex Domanski/File Photo