Chinese carmaker Chery has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Mercedes-Benz. Chery wants the German automaker to halt the rollout of the Mercedes EQ electric brand in China.
Chery claims that Mercedes-Benz is infringing its trademark "eQ" brand. The Chinese carmaker claims that it has used the "eQ" brand for its two-door battery-powered electric car which had been in the market between 2013 and 2015, according to Car Advice.
Chery confirmed that the company has already filed the necessary documents to mount a complaint to the Trademark Office of State Administration for Industry and Commerce. Chery aims to halt Mercedes from using the EQ branding in China.
— Tony Fadell (@tfadell) January 16, 2017
Mercedes-Benz unveiled the EQ concept car last year. Mercedes claims that the first EQ cars will be built in Germany, with plans of moving its production to China at an unconfirmed date.
"If it entered the Chinese market, it would impact our trademark rights, Chery said in a statement acquired by Reuters. "Mercedes-Benz EQ and our (eQ) are extremely similar. Their product is also an electric car."
Many market analysts consider China as the biggest auto market in the world, with growing interests not only for conventional cars but also for electric cars. China's central government have also aggressively pushed the adoption of greener car alternatives as part of the country's effort to curb air pollution.
Many market experts agree that should Chery win the lawsuit, it will strike a heavy blow against Mercedes' effort to enter and establish its presence as a key player in the Chinese car market. Recent statistics have also revealed that more electric cars are sold in China that the rest of the world combined, making the market one of the most sought after by many car companies.