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Ford China fails lawsuit, changes Mustang brand name

Aurora From Gasgoo| January 05,2018


Ford China news, Ford Mustang lawsuit, China auto intellectual property dispute

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- Recently, Intermediate People's Court of Chengdu City of Sichuan Province adjudicated in the first trial that Ford Motor (China) Ltd. (Ford China) should stops any move infringing Sichuan Yema Automobile Co., Ltd (Sichuan Yema)'s exclusive right to use the registered trademark of "Yema". Besides, Ford China should pay RMB 1,000,000 to Sichuan Yema as the compensation for economic loss and make a statement on the official website of Ford Motor that Ford's brand “Mustang” will no longer use “Yema” as its Chinese brand name. (In Chinese, yema means mustang).

In early 2016, Sichuan Yema filed a lawsuit against Ford China's trademark infringement that the Chinese name of Ford's “Mustang" was same with Sichuan Yema's brand name. Sichuan Yema stated that it had applied for the trademark registration of “Yema” as early as 1986, and applied for registration of several icons and word trademark of Yema afterwards. In April, 2014, it officially changed its company name as Sichuan Yema Automobile Co., Ltd.

Mustang is a high-performance vehicle of Ford that presently is sold as imported vehicles in China. After 2000, Ford Motor Company also applied a registered trademark name as “Ford Yema" in Chinese for Mustang brand in China. Focusing on the ownership of “Yema” brand, the two companies confronted with each other at court. 

In recent years, multinational automakers often encounter disputes about intellectual property in China's market. At the inception of Chinese local brands, they prefer to design vehicles on the basis of mature vehicle framework from foreign auto enterprises. Hence, disputes caused by the similarity of vehicle exterior happen a lot. The lawsuit between Ford China and Sichuan Yema is associated with trademark ownership which, nevertheless, occurs infrequently.

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