Jaguar wins landmark case against Chinese copy of Evoque model | Business

Jaguar Land Rover has won a landmark court case against a Chinese firm that was selling a copycat of its Evoque model for a fraction of the price.

A court in Beijing ruled Jiangling Motor Corporation’s (JMC) Landwind X7 had five specific features that were directly copied from the Range Rover Evoque, leading to confusion among customers.

In a ruling that brought an end to a three-year case, the court ordered that production of the Landwind, which cost £14,000 compared to the £40,000 Evoque, must stop immediately.

JMC will also have to pay compensation to Jaguar, which is the UK’s largest car manufacturer but is ultimately owned by the Indian conglomerate Tata.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) described the ruling as a first in the global car industry. Western firms have long complained of cheap replicas being made in China but have struggled to secure legal redress.

Keith Benjamin, JLR’s head of legal, said: “We welcome this decision of the Beijing court, which further strengthens our confidence in investing in China and in the fairness of intellectual property adjudication in the Chinese courts.

“This ruling is a clear sign of the law being implemented appropriately to protect consumers and uphold their rights so that they are not confused or misled, whilst protecting business investment in design and innovation.”

The Guardian approached JMC for a comment but an email address for inquiries did not appear to be active.

JLR’s legal victory against JMC, which is a joint venture partner with the US giant Ford, is likely to encourage similar actions by other carmakers that have accused Chinese competitors of ripping off their designs.

Porsche was said to be considering legal action against Zotye in 2016, over claims the Chinese firm’s T700 had plagiarised its Macan model.

Outside the automotive sector, the Danish toy firm Lego won an intellectual property suit after a court found that a Chinese rival copied its building blocks and figurines under the brand name Lepin.

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