If the European court had agreed with Audi in the case that opposes it to the Chinese giant Nio for model names that are too close, a new decision finally arrives to shuffle the cards. The electric cars that recharge in 5 minutes with 1,000 km of autonomy (theoretical) from Nio (the ES6 and ES8) will not have to change names. At least not everywhere…
The automotive world is not always easy. Although some manufacturers establish alliances to share their technologies and knowledge, such as Ford and Volkswagen for the development of electric models and, in particular, an SUV based on the MEB platform, conflicts are not uncommon. Of course, we are thinking of the one that opposed Citroën and Polestar, the brand with the chevrons that accused the Swedish firm of having copied its logo and thepreventing them from selling their cars in France. An agreement was finally found at the end of 2022, but no model from the manufacturer is yet on the market with us.
But, the two brands are not the only ones that crepe the bun. This is also the case with Nio and Audi, who have been locked in a real legal dispute for several months. In question ? The names of the Nio ES6 and ES8, which would be too close to those of the Audi S6 and S8. Thus, the German firm believes that this could mislead customers, who would then think of an electric version of the German sedans.
The manufacturer then took legal action in 2021 to force the Chinese giant, now supported by the European Union in its development on the Old Continent, to change the names of its two cars. Last January, the Munich regional court had given its decision, which then went in the direction of Audi.
Result, Nio was then banned from continuing to use the names ES6 and ES8 in Europe.. A real setback for the manufacturer, which already sells several models in the territory, capable of recharging in less than five minutes thanks to the battery change system. According to justice, there would be a real risk of confusion, despite the presence of the letter “E” that makes it possible to make a difference.
But if the story could have ended there, the Asian manufacturer, rival of BYD or even Xpeng, would have decided appeal the judge’s decision. And she was right. Indeed, and as revealed by the Chinese site CNEVPostthe European organization in charge of intellectual property (EUIPO) finally ruled in favor of Nio.
According’European Union Intellectual Property Office, the names ES6 and ES8 would have no chance of being confused with those of the Audi S6 and S8. Especially since you should know that the Nio models do not have the same silhouette as two of their German opponents. So, the latter rejected Audi’s requestallowing Nio to continue using these designations.
However, the case may not be over yet if the builder of the rings decided in turn to appeal the decision. Suffice it to say that the conflict could still last a few months. Had Nio been forced to revise the names of his two electric SUVs, he might have opted to rename them EL6 and EL8. A nomenclature that did not come out of nowhere, but that has already been adopted by ES7.
This is actually called EL7 in Europe, probably to avoid a new controversy. In any case, this case does not concern the Nio ET5 and ET7, two rival electric sedans to the Tesla Model 3 and Model S that are already on the market in Norway and Germany in particular. By starting this courtroom showdown, it may be that Audi is simply trying to put a spoke in the wheels of the Chinese firm in order to delay its development in Europe.
It is also said that the builder of the rings would have liked to be able to appropriate the names ES6 and ES8 to release electric versions of their sedans a bit later. What seems surprising, however, whenAudi uses the name “e-tron” to designate its 100% electric models, such as the Q8 e-tron and other e-tron GT, among others.
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