Trademark infringement disputes are a dime a dozen, though they aren’t as rampant in the automotive industry compared to other businesses. One of the few that came to light was the logo dispute between the French automaker Citroën and the Swedish carmaker Polestar, which reached a ruling in 2020.
According to Le Monde, that dispute is now over. A Citroën spokesperson confirmed so with the French newspaper, saying that the complaints have been withdrawn and that the case is closed. Details of the resolution weren’t disclosed.
The dispute between Citroën and Polestar dates back to 2017 when the latter became a standalone automaker with strong ties with Volvo. With that came a new Polestar logo that featured two chevrons pointing at each other, forming a four-pointed star.
Citroën – and subsequently, DS Automobiles, both Stellantis brands – accused Polestar of counterfeiting and brand image infringement due to this logo revamp, citing comments from Internet users who noticed the similarities.
In 2020, a French court dismissed the design infringement case, saying that there’s a weak similarity between the logos plus their layouts differ from each other.
However, Citroën won the case against trademark infringement. The court said Polestar’s similarly shaped chevrons harkened to Citroën’s identity as “the brand with the chevrons.” Polestar could then inderectly benefit from the reputation of Citroën’s chevrons.
That said, court ordered Polestar to pay Citroën 150,000 euros in damages for the infringement of the trademark’s distinctive character. The Swedish automaker was also prohibited to use its logo in France for six months, so much so that people in France weren’t able to access Polestar’s site. The ruling never got lifted after the period; Citroën even petitioned to extend the ruling across Europe earlier this year.
With that dispute now settled, it looks like Polestar can start selling its cars in France, moving forward. An official announcement could be underway, so we’ll keep an ear to the ground.
Source: Le Monde via Automotive News
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