An insider at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has confirmed that the infamous car manufacturer is reportedly suing Jiangling Motor for an alleged copy of its Range Rover Evoque.
Now, you do not need to be an intellectual property lawyer to see that the two cars are strikingly similar. So why are the Chinese allowed to sell these knock-off cars without any backlash from the authorities? This is partly to do with the fact that patent applications in China do not necessarily undergo thorough examination and preference is normally given to Chinese manufacturers over Western ones by Chinese courts.
Whilst copyright arises automatically, trademarks, patents and designs should be registered as soon as possible if a business is to have any chance of contesting such blatant infringement. It should be noted that some of a business’ most valuable assets are its intellectual property such as its trade marks and copyright. Failing to protect this intellectual property, or failing to challenge any violations of these rights, can lead to copycats gaining an unfair advantage in the market.
Nonetheless, given the rather outweighed history, JLR appear to have had enough and this time, has filed a complaint about intellectual property theft against Jiangling Motor. Who knows, maybe JLR will pave the way for future car manufacturers to clamp down on intellectual property infringement in China…
In the meantime, the case should serve as a reminder to businesses to be vigilant in the market place for copycat goods and to ensure that they take steps to adequately protect their rights before investing heavily in the Chinese market.
If you need advice surrounding your intellectual property rights then please do not hesitate to contact Rob Cobley or Harpreet Kaur on 01905 746469 or via email at [email protected] or [email protected]. For further information about developing your business in China and other overseas markets, please contact Nicolas Groffman of our International team on 07816 592934 or via email at [email protected].