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March 24, 2017

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Chery files trademark suit against Mercedes

CHINESE automaker Chery Automobile Co has filed a complaint with the country’s trademark regulator over Mercedes-Benz’s use of the “EQ” name for a line of green-energy vehicles, throwing up a potential road block for the Daimler AG unit in the world’s largest electric car market.

A Chery spokeswoman said yesterday that the automaker has filed a complaint with the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, which it hopes will bar Mercedes from using the name in China.

She said Chery has used the name “eQ” for its two-door battery electric car for two years.

Mercedes showed off a concept car for its forthcoming line of electric vehicles last year, saying it would build its first EQ car in a German factory by the end of the decade. The automaker said last year that it could make EQ in China but did not give a launch date.

A Mercedes spokeswoman declined to comment yesterday.

A ruling in Chery’s favor would be a blow to Mercedes in a key market for new-energy vehicles as more electric cars are sold in China than the rest of the world combined, due to government initiatives targeting air pollution.

“If it entered the Chinese market, it would impact our trademark rights,” the Chery spokeswoman said. “Mercedes-Benz EQ and our eQ are extremely similar. Their product is also an electric car.”

China aggressively promotes green cars to fight urban smog.


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