The auto film store, which was founded in 2012, is being sued by Li Auto to stop using the word Li Xiang and pay compensation of 1.2 million yuan.
(Li Auto's logo. Image credit: CnEVPost)
Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) is suing an auto film store because the company has the same Chinese name, even though the latter used the name earlier.
Li Auto is accusing the auto film store, which is based in Linyi in eastern China's Shandong province, of trademark infringement and unfair competition, claiming 1.2 million yuan ($167,000), according to several local media reports over the weekend.
The electric vehicle (EV) company is asking the court to order the owner of the auto film store to immediately stop infringing on Li Auto's registered trademark, including immediately ceasing the use of logos that are identical or similar to Li Auto's Chinese name in the store's storefront, its interior and on its social media platforms.
Li Auto also demanded that the latter change its business name and that the changed name should not contain the words Li Xiang (理想).
The auto film store opened in 2012, and the name includes the word Li Xiang because it was the childhood name of the store's owner, Mr. Zhu, according to a July 23 report by Yicai.
The store sells products that have nothing to do with Li Auto, and Mr. Zhu can't understand Li Auto's move to make the claim, according to the report.
(One of Mr. Zhu's stores. Image from cnr.cn.)
The operating entity of Li Auto (理想汽车 in Chinese) was established in July 2015 and filed registrations in May 2018 for the Li Xiang Chinese trademarks.
The case is currently in the process of being submitted to the court for trial, and the court is expected to make a fair judgment in accordance with the law based on fact-checking, local media The Paper said, citing Li Auto's response.
Some lawyers don't agree with Li Auto's approach.
Li Auto is trying to monopolize the trademark, Yicai said, citing lawyer Zhang Lai, who added that the store used the name before Li Auto registered the trademark, and even if Li Auto later registered the trademark, stores that used the name before then can continue to use it to the original extent.
The lawyer said that the filing of the court case is a normal procedure, but it does not mean that Li Auto will win the case.
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