MotorcycleSmack News: Yamaha Wins Chinese Piracy Case

PIRACY TRADEMARK CASE WON BY YAMAHA

In landmark decision, Yamaha was awarded $1.1 million in damages in a trademark lawsuit brought in China.

Zhejiang Huatian, a leading motorcycle manufacturer in China, was reprimanded Tuesday by China’s Supreme People’s Court. Zhejiang Huatian and two of their local distributors must pay damages for selling scooters carrying Yamaha’s brand name. The ruling also requires the companies to issue a formal apology to Yamaha.

This is an important win for Yamaha and the motorcycle industry in general.  Few Chinese copycats have gone as far as Zhejiang Huatian in publicly marketing a full range of products complete with an ill-gotten trademarked brand like Yamaha.

The decision follows five years of legal wrangling. Yamaha filed the suit against the companies in 2002, after confirming they were selling scooters carrying a logo similar to that of the Japanese company. Yamaha says the damage was calculated based on the evidence it gathered for the lawsuit.

“This judgment is a landmark decision. We hope our lawsuit serves as a useful reference somehow to other enterprises confronted with similar trademark infringements,” Yamaha said in a statement.

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