In France, Volvo and Geely’s high-end electric vehicle brand, polar star, have been confronted with a very “grievance” trademark infringement lawsuit.
Volvo and Geely’s high-end electric vehicle brand, polestar, are temporarily unable to launch new cars in France due to trademark disputes with Citroen, according to a ruling by the Paris court, European Automobile News reported recently.
In September 2019, Citroen filed a lawsuit in France, suing polar star for trademark infringement. Citroen believes that the logo of polar star is very similar to Citroen’s “herringbone brand” design and the logo of DS car, the former sub brand of Citroen, which may make the buyer confused. Citroen claimed that the acts of polar star constituted trademark infringement and unfair competition, and demanded that the court prohibit polar star from using its logo and compensate 320000 euros (about 2.25 million yuan).
Of course, Polaris has responded to the lawsuit on the grounds that the trademarks of both sides are not similar. Polar’s lawyers responded that the polar star logo “has no risk of confusion” with Citroen and DS logos. They also stressed that the European Trademark Office (euipo) also dismissed Citroen’s infringement charges.
But Citroen is still “reluctant.”. The company believes that the only difference between polar stars, Citroen and DS signs is the “herringbone” arrangement, which has created a clear risk of confusion. Citroen said car buyers might even think the two companies have economic relevance.
On July 12, the Supreme Court of France finally ruled that the association between the three car companies’ logo “seems weak”. However, as Citroen logo has been used for hundreds of years, it is well known in France. The arrow logo used by polar star is easy to associate with Citroen.
To this end, the court ruled that polar star would pay Citroen 150000 euros (about 1.17 million yuan), which is equivalent to 0.05 per cent of Citroen’s advertising fee in France every year. In addition, Polaris also needs to pay 70000 euros (about 550000 yuan) of litigation costs. The court even demanded that polar stars should not use their logo in France for half a year.
In view of this penalty, many people in China think that Jixing is “wronged” because the trademarks of the three are not the same, which makes it difficult for people to distinguish them.
It is worth mentioning that at the beginning of this year, Jixing released its pure electric vehicle, Jixing 2, which was put into production in China, and its new car benchmarked Tesla Model 3, was put on sale in China, Europe and the United States. The first polar star 2 arrived in France in June this year.
As a result, polar star 2, which is scheduled to start delivery in France at the end of this year, has to suspend its pace of entering the French market because of a “shape paper” from Citroen.
The French consumers who visit Polaris website can only see a white page, which reads: “due to the geographical restrictions on the use of the trademark in France, the French public can not access Polaris website.”
At present, it is uncertain whether polar star will change its logo in order to be listed in France, or when polar star will be listed in France.
Polar star said in a statement that the company does not sell its vehicles in France and has no plans to sell them in France. Jixing said the company did not want to comment on the topic because of current legal issues.