In what is a big victory for German car manufacturer BMW, the Brazilian justice has banned all kinds of sales for the 320 model of Chinese car company Lifan.
The ruling comes from an unfair competition lawsuit filed by BMW in 2012, where it accused the Chinese company of infringing patents and copyrights for its popular Mini Cooper model with the 320, which entered the market as an almost identical copy.
In the suit, BMW explained that the similarities between the models could confuse potential consumers. Lifan, on its end, claimed the model was sufficiently different and thus couldn’t directly compete with any Mini Cooper.
In 2014, facing pressure from BMW, which had asked dealerships to cut ties with the Lifan 320, the Chinese company decided to put and end to the car’s commercial activities in the country.
However, the official ruling came this month of June, and is a major victory for BMW, as it sets a judicial precedent and forces Lifan to pay for damages.
This is not the first time that the German company lashes out against a Chinese company copying one of its models. In previous years, BMW went against Shuanghuan for a very similar infraction with the X5, but justice did not rule in its favor.
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