Honda to sue in China over canceled SUV patent
Reuters - March 22, 2006
SHANGHAI -- Japan's Honda Motor Co. said on Wednesday it plans to sue the Chinese property rights authority for terminating patent protection for its latest CR-V model in China.
China's State Intellectual Property Office decided to cancel the patent earlier this month after deciding the model was too similar to Honda's first CR-V launched in 1995, Honda said in a statement.
The authority granted Honda a Chinese patent in 2002 for the exterior design of the sport utility vehicle, which it has manufactured in China in a venture with Dongfeng Motor Group Co. Ltd. since 2004.
Honda has sold 2.4 million CR-Vs in over 160 countries worldwide since launching the model in 1995, it said.
Beijing has pledged to protect intellectual property rights, a thorny issue between China, the United States, and other countries that accuse Chinese firms of widely copying Western products -- sometimes from partners in joint venture projects.
Honda won a lawsuit in China in 2003 after a Beijing court denied a bid by the company to restore a motor scooter patent the Japanese firm lost in a dispute with Chinese rivals.