GM Daewoo files suit against Chery

By Liu Li (China Daily) Updated: 2005-05-09 06:23

The General Motors (GM) Daewoo auto firm is suing a Chinese car manufacturer for allegedly copying one of its vehicles. Sources with the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court confirmed yesterday that the court has accepted a lawsuit filed by General Motors (GM) Daewoo against China's Chery Automobile Company. GM is asking for compensation of 80 million yuan (US$9.6 million). GM Daewoo contends that Chery's mini car QQ copied its Matiz and Spark. Chery denies this, saying it developed QQ on its own. The South Korean plaintiff initially began suing the Chinese auto maker in December last year at the Shanghai No 2 Intermediate People's Court. However, the defendant objected on jurisdiction grounds. The Supreme People's Court appointed the Beijing-based court to handle the case, sources in the press office of the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court told China Daily yesterday. Produced by GM Daewoo, the Matiz went on the South Korean market in 1998, according to the bill of indictment. GM Daewoo authorized the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation in 2003 to produce and sell the Spark on the Chinese mainland on the basis of the design and technology of the Matiz. However, GM Daewoo claimed their investigation results showed the Chery QQ shared a remarkably identical body structure, exterior design, interior design and key components. "Chery even used a camouflaged Matiz car to pass auto tests to acquire authorization from the government over production and sales of QQ," the plaintiff said. GM Daewoo claimed the behaviour of Chery had resulted in unfair competition. A press official surnamed Zhang at the Chery headquarters in East China's Anhui Province told the Beijing Youth Daily that they had not been told of any developments regarding the accusation, the Beijing Youth Daily reported. However, sources with the Chinese automaker insisted that Chery depends on itself for development, instead of copying other firms. Eight months ago, Zhang Zhigang, vice-minister of commerce, said Chery's alleged infringement and unfair competitive behaviour could not be determined according to the Chinese law and evidence provided by GM Daewoo. Zhang Qin, vice-director of the State Intellectual Property Office, also said at a press conference in September that GM Daewoo failed to apply for a patent on its designs in China. Thus, the technology was not protected in China according to the law.

chief analyst with the China Automotive Industry Consulting and Development Corp. GM Daewoo said tests showed the body structure.is sensitive because GM and SAIC are involved in a major joint venture. GM sues Chinese firm for copying General Motors is suing a former unit of Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation for copying a car design. according to Chinese state media .accepted by a Beijing Court. despite the similarities between the two cars. "Domestic car firms should invent their own products. GM Daewoo says the Chery QQ is too similar to its Matiz The Korean firm said it wanted 80m yuan ($9. which is based on the Matiz). the company said.The official also said that only when GM Daewoo had provided sufficient evidence to prove that Chery stole statistics from it could the alleged infringement exist. Damage limitation The QQ appears to be similar to the Daewoo Matiz (and to GM's Chevrolet Spark. a South Korean unit of GM. said China's SAIC Chery Automobile had copied the Daewoo Matiz's body structure in its Chery QQ model. interior and exterior design of the QQ and many of its components were very similar to the Matiz. GM Daewoo began suing Chery last December in Shanghai. said yesterday in an interview with China Daily. It added it has up to 24 design patents on the model. The case . instead of copying others.7m. . GM Daewoo.1m) in compensation. It added that many parts were interchangeable between the two cars. £5. GM Daewoo had tried to resolve the dispute through mediation for a year and only resorted to the courts when this failed. SAIC Chery denied the allegations." Jia Xinguang. saying it spent more than a year developing its QQ car. but transferred the suit to Beijing after Chery complained on jurisdiction grounds.

But it sold the holding late last year in what was thought to be a damage-limitation exercise. which spent £67m buying car designs from collapsed UK carmaker Rover.SAIC. held a 20% stake in Chery. .

Date: May 2007. Claim: 14 million yuan in compensation. Court: Beijing No. which solved all the disputes and all the claims have been withdrawn.000 yuan (US$ 64. Court: Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court. 2 Intermediate People's Court. Accusation: Geely Merrie trademark is a copy of Toyota's trademark. Claim: 80 million yuan Settlement: In November 2005 the partners reached a settlement. Accusation: Chery's QQ copied the design of the Daewoo's Matiz.5 million). make a public apology and compensate 500.5 million yuan (US$ 1. 1 Intermediate People's Court. Date: June 2003. The court upheld . Second accusation: Honda claims that Lifan's LF125T-2D scooter is too similar to a design covered by its own patents. GM Daewoo also claimed that Chery used a Matiz disguised as a QQ in a crash test for safety. Court: Shanghai No.Lawsuits 1. Claim: 12. December 2004. Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court. all parties highly appreciated the efforts made by the relevant government authorities. Judgement: The motorcycle LF100T manufactured by Lifan closely resembled a Honda design. Claim: 100 million yuan.47 million yuan (US$ 177. Date: November 2003. 2 Intermediate Court. Date: End 2002. China. versus Chery. China. Judgement: The court didn't sustained any of the claims raised by Toyota. which means that Honda's outer design of the Honda CR-V would not be protected by China's IP laws. Court: Beijing High People's Court.607) in damages to Honda for placing the Hongda logos on its motorcyles. 3. China. In March 2007 the China's State Intellectual Property Office made the decision declaring Honda's patent for design invalid. Accusation: Honda accused Lifan of using the name Hongda on motorcycles. Accusation: Honda accused Shuanghuan's Laibao SRV of copying its CR-V. Ltd. the two models are shockingly similar. Outcome: Lifan lost. Lifan was ordered to stop infringing. Honda versus Lifan . Judgement: The Beijing court ordered Lifan to pay 1. Toyota Motor Corporation versus Geely.767). Court: Beijing No. 4. China. 2. GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. China.) Outcome: Toyota lost the case. Claim: Honda wanted Lifan to admit the infringement. Date: September 2005. Judgement: No hearing was ever held at the court. Honda versus Shuanghuan Auto. The Chinese government has played a role in the negotiations. (After the court's decision Geely withdraw the Merrie logo.

000) in damages. Date: November 2005. 1 Intermediate People's Court. Court: Milan. Outcome: Jincheng lost. Neoplan (M.600 yuan because the company has infringed Honda's valid patent in motorcycle manufacturing of some models. Accusation: Jincheng Minibus is a copy of the Jinbei Haise Aiwing. Ltd. Date: December 2008. Judgement: Jincheng was found liable of copying the exterior appearance of Jinbei's modified HiAce. Judgement: We couldn't find any result of this case. Date: January 2006 Court: Beijing.16 million yuan in legal costs. Ltd. Date: December 2008. Judgement: Lifan shall bear the civil liability of stopping infringement and paying reasonable compensation for the loss of 612. Date: September 2006. Judgement: The Shuanghuan SCEO large SUV isn't a clone of the BMW X5.A. 5. Court: Wuhan Intermediate People's Court. 6. Claim: Honda requested a court decision to order Lifan to compensate 727 million yuan of its economic losses and 113 million yuan of reasonable expenses for the case. Outcome: Shuanghuan (China Automobile) lost. Date: June 2008. Outcome: BMW lost. . A.) versus Zonda Bus & Coach Group.Honda's claim for compensation but rejected its call for public apology. Italy.N.G. 7. Accusation: Shuanghuan SCEO is a blatant copy of the BMW X5. BMW versus Shuanghuan and European Importers. Outcome: Lifan lost. 2 Intermediate People's Court. Court: Munich. Accusation: Zonda's A9 Bus was a copy of a Neoplan bus named Starliner.000 yuan (US$ 39. Accusation: Dongfeng-Citroen alleged that Shanghai Maple used Citroen's core chassis technology in producing its models. Judgement: The court prohibits the importer. China. from selling the SUV in Germany and China Automobile must destroy all models it still had in its possession. Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroen Automobile Co. China. Judgement: Zonda Industrial Group was ordered to pay 20 million yuan in compensation to Neoplan. China Automobile Deutschland GmbH. Zonda was also ordered to stop making & selling the A9 Bus and to pay 1. 8. Court: Beijing No. Outcome: Lifan lost. BMW lost the court action in Italy against the local importer Martin Motors. Germany. Shenyang Jinbei Brilliance versus Qinghuangdao Jincheng Automobile. Court: Shanghai No. Outcome: Zonda lost. It ordered Lifan to pay 300. versus Shanghai-Maple Auto Co. China. China.

000. as the production of the Peri halted in September 2010. China.000 euros. Italy. Date: January 2009. Outcome: Fiat lost. 9. So the appeal was rejected. a plant was to be set up in Dongguan to produce Proton cars. Court: Turin. China. In October 2011 Great Wall decided not to appeal. Germany..fine for the first imported GWPeri and Great Wall will be penalized euro 50. Court: Hebei Province People's High Court.) 10. Goldstar versus Proton. Court: Turin. Great Wall will be prohibited from selling and advertising the vehicle in the EU. Outcome: Shuanghuan (China Automobile) lost. The court imposed a euro 15. In 2006 Proton signed an agreement with . Claim: Goldstar is seeking about one billion yuan (US$ 147 million) in compensation. Date: December 2008. with each offense punishable by up to a fine of 15.for each GWPeri it sends to the EU. (Great Wall already halted production of the Peri in September 2010. Judgement: Great Wall is banned from selling the GWPeri compact car in the EU.000.Date: May 2009. GWPeri is simply a Panda with a different front. Ltd. Outcome: Great Wall lost. China. Accusation: Proton is being sued for alleged breach of contract by its former Chinese joint-venture partner Goldstar Heavy Industrial Co. Date: July 2008. Munich. Court: High Court. Date: June 2009. Court: Shijiazhung Intermediate People's Court. Judgement: The Court dismissed a claim by Fiat alleging infringement of a Fiat patent. Judgement: Great Wall has to compensate Fiat with nearly 30.court fees. (Great Wall has infringed the European patents numbered 00044722-0001 of the Fiat Panda in the design of the Great Wall Peri). Goldstar failed to obtain a license for the joint venture within three years'time. Outcome: Fiat lost. (Under joint-venture proposal that was signed in 2002.000 euros and additional court fines. Italy. Accusation: the Great Wall GWPeri is a copy of the Fiat Panda. Date: July 2008. Outcome: Great Wall lost.. Judgement: Second court tribunal hold the judgement of June 2008: China Automobile is obliged to pay penalty and destroy imported cars.. Court: Shijiazhuang Intermediate People's Court Accusation: Great Wall declares to have submitted evidence to prove that Fiat once instigated espionage to prowl into its research center and take photos of Peri small car that was still under development. Date: June 2011. Fiat lost and had to pay US$ 1290. Court: Dongguan Intermediate People's Court. Outcome: in October 2011 ceased the pursuit of Fiate. Judgement: The exterior design of the GWPeri can be easily distinguished from the Panda. Fiat versus Great Wall. and has not exported any cars to the EU since then.

Italy. Judgement: Import of the Flybo 6000ZK by Reva Company into Germany is forbidden. The Trademark Appeal Board under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce rejected the appeal of Landrover. Court: High Court.G. Date: February 2010.G. The first Flybo. Accusation: Geely illegaly filed the trade mark "Land Tiger" (Luhu) in 1999 by the Chinese Bureau of Industry and Commerce when it was in use by Landrover. Landrover versus Geely (in fact: versus the Trademark Appeal Board). Court: Piraeus. Accusation: Flybo 6000ZK is a copy of the Smart Fortwo. Date: October 2008. Daimler A. Great Britain.G. Outcome: MG XPower (Sports and Racing Europe) lost. Date: May 2009. Youngman. Accusation: Shuanghuan Noble (Bubble) is a copy of the Smart Fortwo. The Noble differs significantly in technical specification from the Smart. 13. lost. Temporary judgement: The court prevented Shuanghuan from showing their Bubble from making its public appearance at the Bologna Show. Landrover is now suing the Board to revoke the Luhu trademark registered by Geely. 1 Intermediate People's Court. 14. 12. Martin Motors brought the Bubble to the parking lot of the Show anyway. Accusation: Sports and Racing Europe were infringing the MG marks for which they had no entitlement. Nanjing Automobile Corporation (MG) versus Sports and Racing Europe (MG XPower). Daimler A. Date: February 2011. confiscated by the German customs. Claim: Martin Motors (the importer) is forbidden to exhibit the Bubble at the Bologna Auto Show. Judgement: An informed buyer would not confuse the Noble with the Smart Fortwo. versus Flybo and German importer. Outcome: Flybo and its importer lost. Judgement: Nanjing Automobile Corporation had acquired the rights to the MG trademarks and logos when it bought the assets of MG Rover in 2005. China .another Chinese company. London. had to be destroyed. 11.) Judgement: parties agreed to arbitrate before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre in April 2009. versus Shuanghuan and its European importers. Court: Stuttgart. Court: Beijing Municipal No. Court: Bologna. Date: December 2008. Greece. Germany. Outcome: Daimler A. despite the court order.