Audi Wins Court docket Case In opposition to Nio Over ES6 And ES8 Naming

Audi received a copyright case towards Chinese language EV maker Nio, with a gross sales ban imposed on the Asian-based firm’s ES6 and ES8 fashions in Germany. The Munich Regional Court docket dominated on Thursday that the title of Nio’s EVs are too related and might be confused with Audi’s personal S6 and S8 efficiency sedans.

The choice, revealed by the German publication Automobilwoche, says that the ES6 and ES8 names infringe on Audi’s trademark rights as a result of they might be wrongly interpreted as being electrical variants of the German model’s fashions.

The decide agreed that Nio’s mannequin names are factually totally different from Audi’s, besides, the extra letter E isn’t sufficient to sufficiently differentiate them, making them “mentally linked, not less than when it comes to sound.”

“There’s a threat that customers will assume that the ‘ES 6’ is the ‘S 6’ within the electrical model, that the 2 automobiles are from the identical producer,” the decide stated. “There’s subsequently a switch hazard of confusion by affiliation that goes past pure affiliation.”

Audi started its courtroom motion again in the midst of 2022 when it argued that it’s not about styling similarities – Nio’s fashions being SUVs and Audi’s mannequin being sedans – however concerning the similarities in naming. Now, over a yr later, the German model received in courtroom, however the determination just isn’t ultimate, and Nio can file for an attraction.

Consequently, Nio is now prohibited from promoting the ES6 and ES8 fashions in Germany, with the Chinese language automaker dealing with fines of as much as 250,000 Euros ($270,000 at present alternate charges) or as much as six months in jail for its managing director in Germany if it fails to adjust to the courtroom’s ruling. Nio can nevertheless promote the ES7 in Germany, which was renamed because the EL7 within the area in October of final yr.

Audi stated in an announcement that it’s “cautious to guard [its intellectual property] comprehensively” and that the “judgment confirms that the disputed mannequin designations infringe Audi trademark rights. Lots of our fashions have an iconic character—for us and for our clients. This additionally and particularly applies to our sporty S fashions.”