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  Landwind X7
 
Land Rover copycat lawsuit proceeds despite patent cancellation
Reuters | 2016/6/24

BEIJING  -- China's cancellation of Jaguar Land Rover's patent on the Range Rover Evoque will not stop JLR from going after an alleged Chinese copycat in a separate unfair competitor copyright proceeding, a JLR spokesman said. 

This month, a source had told Reuters that JLR had filed new legal actions against Chinese automaker Jiangling Motors for allegedly copying the British company's Evoque. 

"It's still the same situation," spokesman Andrew Marsh told Reuters on Tuesday. The action on copyright and unfair competition is separate from the patent proceedings, he said.

His comments come after a media report said JLR's copycat lawsuit against Jiangling could suffer a setback since both companies' patents had been canceled by Chinese authorities. 

Public records on the website of China's patent re-examination board show the Evoque patent was ruled invalid in April because the design had been displayed or published elsewhere before a patent application was filed.
 
The board also ruled in May to invalidate the patent of the alleged copycat, Jiangling's Landwind X7, saying in the decision that it strongly resembled the Evoque. Both automakers could still appeal the board's ruling on the patents' validity, said Chen Jihong, a Beijing-based intellectual property lawyer at Zhong Lun Law Firm. 

Even if the patent remains invalid, JLR could argue separately that Jiangling is competing unfairly by confusing customers or that the Evoque's design is automatically protected under law as a piece of music or other creative work would be, Chen said.


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