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Lose the case! Weilai prohibits the use of ES6 and ES8 names in Germany.

2024-05-27 Update From: AutoBeta NAV: AutoBeta > News >


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Recently, the trademark dispute between Xilai and Audi ushered in the judgment of the second instance. According to the High District Court of Munich, Germany, Audi won the trademark dispute between Ulai and Audi and banned the sale of electric cars in Germany under the ES+ digital trademark.

The trademark dispute between the two sides began in June 2022, when Audi sued ES6 and ES8 in Munich for infringing the trademark rights of Audi's S-Series cars. In January last year, Audi won the first instance in the trademark dispute case between the two sides. The Munich District Court of Germany held that "although the letter E added to the logo of Ulay is significantly different in character and sound from the Audi trademark 'S6' and' S8', in this case, the addition of the letter E does not provide enough distinction. Given the average uniqueness of the trademark and the existing characteristics of the goods, the two are at least related in terms of sound, which will lead to the risk of indirect confusion."

At that time, the verdict was not recognized by Xilai Motor. Qin Lihong, co-founder of Weilai, said in an interview with the media: the verdict is the first trial, not the final verdict. Lailai Motor will resolutely appeal and use legal means to protect its legitimate rights and interests. With regard to the lawsuit against ES6 and ES8 for infringing the Audi trademark, an Audi spokesman said: "Audi pays as much attention to the protection of trademark rights as other successful companies and damages our trademark as far as we understand it."

It is worth mentioning that Audi's lawsuit against Xilai did not get the support of people inside and outside the industry at that time. Some professionals in the industry have pointed out that the positioning of medium-sized SUV of ES6 and ES8 does not conflict with the positioning of Audi S6 and S8, and the probability that users will confuse ES6 and ES8 is not high. Audi is not friendly to the prosecution of Xilai.

At present, the ES6 and ES8 models are not on the market in Germany, only the ET7, ET5 and ES7 models were launched in the German market in 2022, when the official renamed the ES7 model to "EL7". At that time, many people in the industry speculated that the adjustment of Lai Automobile at that time might have something to do with Audi's lawsuit against Lulai for trademark infringement.

At that time, Xilai also responded to the renaming of ES7: from the very beginning of the company, it insisted on the original, systematically thought about the naming of the model, and began to apply for global registration in 2016, and was successfully registered in China, Europe, the United States and other markets. Unfortunately, Audi questioned the name of the ES8/ES6 model and filed a lawsuit in Germany. In view of the protracted litigation, in order to avoid affecting the interests of users in Europe, Weilai decided to use the name EL7 in Europe for now. Weilai will continue to respond to the ongoing trademark litigation in Germany.

It has something to do with why Audi should accuse Weilai of trademark infringement, or it has something to do with the fact that Weilai's entry into Germany threatens Audi's position and Audi's slow electric transformation. As we all know, Germany is the stronghold of Audi. As the earliest models released by Xilai, ES8 and ES6 are well-known in the market. In 2022, Xilai began to accelerate its global layout, announcing the expansion of its products to Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and other places. According to the plan, Weilai also plans to enter more than 25 countries and regions by 2025. In this context, entering the German market more or less brings some pressure to Audi.

At the same time, Audi's product competitiveness in electric cars is not obvious. Take the Chinese market as an example, the performance of the electric products sold by Audi in the market is not satisfactory. Data show that Audi sold a total of 118200 pure electric cars worldwide in 2022, while Ulay delivered 122500. According to Audi's official plan, only electric cars will be launched from 2026, pure electric vehicles will be produced in all factories from 2029, and production of fuel vehicles will be phased out from 2033. Of course, some people in the industry have pointed out that Audi's lawsuit against Lai Motors may have light with Audi's plan to launch pure electric versions of S6 and S8, but there are no plans for Audi to release the pure electric versions of S6 and S8. This has yet to be released by subsequent officials.

Although Audi won the case this time, referring to the statement made by Weilai Automobile when it lost the judgment in the first instance, the loss of the case had little impact on Lailai Motor. Xilai said earlier: the ruling of the first instance has no impact on our business and users and will continue to give priority to the needs of users by providing smart high-end electric vehicles and services in Europe.

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