Update: Renault reached out to us today on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, to inform us that it has won the first round in a court battle against the Chinese company.
“Human Horizons Holding Co. sought a preliminary injunction in Germany against Renault Deutschland, regarding the use of the Mobilize logo. The first instance injunction was overruled by the court of appeal in favor of Renault,” a company spokesman told CarScoops.
– Original story follows below –
We’re used to seeing (mostly) European companies suing Chinese automakers over copyright infringement regarding the design of their cars. However, now China’s Human Horizons is suing Renault and its Mobilize brand for trademark infringement over the similarities between Mobilize’s logo and the logo used by Human Horizon’s division HiPhi.
Human Horizons burst onto the scene a couple of years ago with the unveiling of its all-electric HiPhi X. It is one of the most intriguing EVs launched in China and taking pride of place on the hood is HiPhi’s brand logo, consisting of a vertical line with two curved lines either side of it.
HiPhi and its parent Human Horizons have applied for an injunction against Renault and its mobility brand Mobilize Beyond in a German court. HiPhi says the logo used by Mobilize Beyond on concepts and the Mobilize Limo sedan infringes the trademark of its logo registered in 2018 pic.twitter.com/p6HVz0yERK
— Greg Kable (@GregKable) January 20, 2022
Just a few months after the HiPhi X made its public debut, Renault introduced its Mobilize EZ-1 Prototype. It is a radically different car to the HiPhi X but it does sport a logo made up of a vertical line with two curved lines to the side. The main difference to the HiPhi logo is that Mobilize’s is tilted by 45 degrees and the curved lines are a bit larger.
Auto Motor und Sport reports that Human Horizons thinks the similarities between the logos could impact its European expansion plans. It filed an injunction in a German court in October 2021 and asked Renault to stop using the Mobilize logo. It is reported that a court case is now underway between the two companies.
Human Horizons registered the HiPhi logo in various markets around the world in August 2018 while Renault patented the Mobilize logo in January 2021.
The HiPhi X is available in China in both four- and six-seat configurations and is proving to be quite popular, selling 3,742 units across the country during the second half of 2021.