Daimler, Fiat Join Copyright Fight Against Chinese Carmakers

Daimler is going after Shuanghuan while Fiat has launched legal proceedings in Italy and China against the Great Wall Motor Co.

Amid a growing copyright row European, Daimler and Fiat have launched legal proceedings against Chinese manufacturers, according to the Automotive News Europe magazine.

Daimler of Germany is attempting to block the sale of the Noble produced by Shuanghuan, a small car that Daimler says is strikingly similar to the Smart Fortwo it produces, the report said. Shuanghuan decided not to exhibit the Noble at the prestigious Frankfurt International Motor Show last month after legal threats from Daimler.

Fiat meanwhile has launched legal proceedings in Italy and China against the Great Wall Motor Co., arguing that its Peri model resembles the highly popular Fiat Panda. "We are expecting the first court hearings in China in December and in Turin for the European case towards the end of January," Monica Norgi, legal advisor to Fiat, told the magazine.

BMW launched legal proceedings in Munich in September against Shuanghuan's European importer China Automobile Deutschland in a bid to prevent the sale of the CEO, a Chinese-built version of the X5, a 4x4 model that BMW stopped making last year.

Toyota has failed however in a bid to prevent Shuanghuan from selling the UFO, which is highly similar to Toyota's Rav4 model, "because its models are not protected by any patents in Europe," the magazine

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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