Motorcade slowed down: brand Aurus do not want to let in Europe
The international future of the brand of the first domestic luxury car company Aurus is in question. As Izvestia found out, Toyota, Lamborghini and Michelin challenged the patent application of our brand in the European intellectual property Office. Representatives of foreign companies claim that the name Aurus is confusingly similar to the names of brands of their cars. There is a risk that the Russian Aurus will have to be renamed for the EU market, experts say.
The bright European debut of the Russian brand Aurus at the annual international Geneva motor show, which took place on March 5, may be overshadowed by the prospect of rebranding the brand in order to enter this market. Against the registration of the brand in Europe were several automakers: Toyota, which has a compact hatchback Auris, Lamborghini with luxury crossover Urus, as well as the tire giant Michelin with its sub-brand Taurus. The relevant claims of the company were sent to the intellectual property Office of the European Union (EUIPO). "News" read the document.
Lawyer Christian Thomas, representing Toyota, in his appeal to EUIPO in March this year pointed out that the name of the Japanese model and the Russian car brand are similar to the point of confusion.
— These two names are visually very similar to the extent that they coincide: AUR*S. the Proposed trademark differs only by one penultimate letter. Consumers in General tend to focus on the initial part of the title because of the left-to-right reading system. The difference in one letter leads to the fact that the already small difference between the two characters is ignored. At first glance, the consumer does not recognize this difference and will take the disputed mark for the mark of the opponent (Toyota. — «News.)» Thus, between these two signs there is a similarity, - the lawyer argues.
The protests of Lamborghini and Michelin sent earlier, but with an emphasis on the features of their trademarks, are based on exactly the same principle. European representatives of Lamborghini, Michelin and Toyota did not respond to Izvestia's request. Left it without comment, and the Bureau for intellectual property of the European Union (EUIPO).
Despite the fact that we are talking about the names of brands and individual models, for patenting it is of equal importance.
The industry and trade Ministry, which initiated the emergence of representational vehicles Aurus and oversees the project through subordinate automobile Institute US (developed a car), I see no problems due to a patent dispute.
–- At the moment, FSUE NAMI is registering the Aurus brand in Europe and the middle East, — the press service of the Department told Izvestia. - In January 2019, the Aurus brand was registered by the Benelux patent office, which unites three countries: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and in March 2019 it was registered in Latvia and Lithuania. The registration procedure is standard and is carried out in accordance with the rules and regulations established by the national patent offices. These registration procedures provide for the possibility of challenging the registration of designations as trademarks. This is a global practice in the field of intellectual property.
Registration in the national patent offices of the Benelux countries, Lithuania and Latvia allows the use of the trademark only on their territory, explained to Izvestia patent attorney Elena Polenova.
— However, if Toyota, Lamborghini and Michelin so zealously took up the challenge of a patent in EUPIO, which gives the right to use the mark throughout the European Union, it is obvious that the next step will be challenging the brand Aurus and in those countries, she said.
Aurus declined to comment. A source close to the automotive Institute of NAMI, told "Izvestia" that because of the dispute, the prospects of European sales "hung."
— It's not a good story. If only it will be possible to agree (with car companies. - "Izvestia") on some conditions that the signs will not intersect in the markets. Perhaps there will be a distinction, for example, Aurus is sold in Switzerland, but not in Spain. Though the most obvious option — rebranding for this market, - he told.
Russian patent law experts believe that the outcome of the case will depend on the qualification of lawyers in the proceedings and the credibility of their arguments.
"There may be different situations with respect to marks," said Dmitry Markanov, head of trademark and dispute resolution practice at Patentus. — No matter how many criteria, it all depends on the subjectivity of the assessment. But what plays against Aurus is a complete lack of brand reputation. It's not a company that's 20 or 50 years old. They have not acquired their distinctive feature and are not yet associated with a specific company that produces certain luxury cars. What else plays against the presence of really similar characters: to say that names of Interested and Auris unlike probably wrong.
If the experts EUIPO decide that the name of the new company similar to existing signs at the phonetic, and even semantic features, the chances Aurus small, said Elena Polenova.
— Let's assume that the Toyota compact aurus expensive on sale do not intersect, because it is a different price segment, and with Lamborghini Urus Aurus models belonging to the class of luxury cars, theoretically can meet under the roof of one showroom. Means, in consciousness of the potential buyer there can be a mix of two different brands, and it is misleading of the consumer, — she is convinced.
However, experts agree that it is still possible to register Aurus in the European Union. The main argument of Russian lawyers is that brands Auris, Urus and Taurus, being similar to the appearance of Russian brands, normally co-existed on the European market. When considering the dispute, everything will be taken into account — up to the presence of a loud advertising campaign.
But even if Aurus still will not be able to bring to the EU market in the near future, special losses from this will not be, according to an independent expert and consultant in the automotive industry Sergei Burgazliev. According to him, sales of the Russian brand in foreign markets in the future the next two or three years will be calculated pieces. Among the main obstacles to the demand for Aurus is the lack of brand history, clear marketing, built-up service, dealers and a specific range of spare parts.
Rebranding in the global automotive industry is most often used to soften the original name when its reading in the language of the country has an incorrect or offensive meaning. Thus, the Russian VAZ in Soviet times changed the name " Lada "for export markets to" Lada "due to the fact that" Lada "was associated in many languages with the word "gigolo".
But there are cases of renaming brands because of the already similar name. Jeep Patriot in Russia, the Americans were forced to rename the Liberty due to the fact that the brand "Patriot" was already occupied by UAZ with its eponymous SUV. Toyota has registered the trademark for the same name Wigo compact car that Renault, which already has actually a direct competitor to the Twingo citicar. While the dispute on the side of Toyota-at home in the Japanese patent office rejected the protest of the French considering that the signs do not intersect in sound.
The Aurus family of Executive cars was developed by the automotive Institute of FSUE NAMI. Work began in 2013, and in 2018, at the Moscow motor show, WE presented the sedan and limousine Aurus. In the future, this brand will be an SUV, convertible and minibus. All cars are built on a single modular platform, which at the time of development was called "Tuple" - it is under this name the car is most familiar to the General public. First of all, the" Motorcade " was conceived as a domestic Executive class car for top officials of the country. The cars were designed to replace expensive imported foreign cars serving officials of the highest rank.
Export of cars is planned to begin in 2021, after the launch of full-scale production at new facilities in Tatarstan