If you remember the Range Rover Evoque copycat that was launched Jiangling Motor Corporation (JMC), well, Jaguar Land Rover now has something to cheer about. While there’s no denying that China has obliterated competition when it comes to mass market production and supply, and gained quite a reputation for its first copy products in export markets, this one time it seems JLR would be having the last laugh.
It all started when Landwind X7 was unveiled at the 2015 Guangzhou Motor Show. Following this, JLR sued Jiangling in 2016. While there have been parallels drawn between other vehicles and manufacturers, none have had a day in court. Doing business in China has its own unique norms, as with any international business opportunity, and a lawsuit isn’t the popular choice.
Back to the Range Rover Evoque copycat, Landwind X7. The latter is on sale only in China, and if copying really is a form of flattery, Jiangling would score top marks. In what the company terms a ‘first’ for the global car industry, JLR considers the win in the Chinese courts a significant one. Beijing Chaoyang District Court’s ruling states Range Rover Evoque “has five unique features that were copied directly in the Landwind X7 built by Jiangling Motor Corporation and that the similarity of the two vehicles has led to widespread consumer confusion”.
The court also ruled that sales, manufacturing and marketing of Landwind X7 must cease immediately, and Jaguar Land Rover is to be paid compensation. However, that amount hasn’t yet been disclosed.
Keith Benjamin, Jaguar Land Rover Global head of legal said, “We welcome this decision of the Beijing Court, which further strengthens our confidence in investing in China and in the fairness of intellectual property adjudication in the Chinese courts.
This ruling is a clear sign of the law being implemented appropriately to protect consumers and uphold their rights so that they are not confused or misled, whilst protecting business investment in design and innovation.” New gen Range Rover Evoque was launched in London in November 2018, and is being launched in China at the Shanghai Motor Show in April 2019. It has also been spied in India, and will be launched here later this year.