Piaggio Group had filed a complaint against two Chinese brands after they showcased their Vespa Primavera lookalikes last year
Piaggio Group has finally won the legal battle against the Chinese brands, Motolux and Dayi Motor, that copied the Vespa Primavera’s design on its products. The incident came to light at EICMA 2019 when a “design registered by a Chinese party” was removed from the auto show after Piaggio Group lodged a complaint.
Over the years, the world has come across several attempts by Chinese manufacturers to mimick European builds. Among four-wheelers, the Landwind X7 (Range Rover Evoque lookalike) and Geely GE (wannabe Rolls-Royce Phantom) could have hit the highest number of headlines. On the other hand, China’s domestic two-wheeler market is so huge that there are chances of several copycats plying under the radar and avoiding trademark battles. In fact, Piaggio has had legal clashes with several Chinese two-wheelers in the past, such as the Znen Ves.
This time, the Italian automotive group had the support of EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office). The authority declared the Chinese design “null” and “incapable of eliciting a different general impression” other than that of the registered design, in an attempt to reproduce (the Vespa Primavera’s) aesthetic elements.
EICMA 2019 is apparently the most sought-after platform for such brands to invite legal notices. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, EICMA 2020 might not take place as usual in early November. The venue was being used as a COVID-19 help facility and would most likely remain so for a considerable period of time. There is no news regarding its cancellation yet.
It is told that a legal team from Pontedera (home of Piaggio) do a thorough walkaround at the opening day of each instalment of EICMA to identify potential copyright or trademark infringements. Chinese automakers may not always be the culprits. For instance, a German company had done a similar act before. Piaggio claims that it has cancelled “more than 50 trademarks registered by third parties” in a span of two years.
Automotive design is an art that deserves respect. Good aesthetics may not be everyone’s cup of tea but options to hire a talented designer or outsource the work to a reputed automotive design firm are always open. We do not think the Vespa is an epitome of scooter aesthetics though it is a model range built with excellent taste.
Despite the presence of stringent regulations, a window would always be open for designers to explore. If this was not the case, every automobile would have been near-identical to each other with respect to the segment.