HONDA SUES HONGDA:
BEIJING COURT SIDES WITH HONDA, BUT HONGDA ONLY HAS TO PAY $177,000 DAMAGES; AND THERE ARE MORE HONGDAS THAN YOU CAN SHAKE A STICK AT; YOU CAN’T TELL THE HONGDA’S WITHOUT A PLAYLIST
A Beijing, China, district court issued a ruling Wednesday that supports a claim by Honda Motor Co.’s that major private motorcycle maker Chongqing Lifan Industry Group Co. pirated the Japanese company’s name by registering a trademark pronounced “Hongda.”
Hongda window hinges.ÿÿÿÿÿ
Hongda Paper machinery.ÿÿÿÿÿ
The Beijing court has ordered a Chongqing Lifan Industry Group to pay 1.47 million yuan, approximately $177,607, in damages to Japan’s Honda Motor Co. for placing “Hongda” logos on its product.
Honda had previously filed a complaint with a Chinese government committee that oversees trademarks, but the committee brushed off the claim, saying the trademarks are distinguishable in Chinese characters. The Beijing court ruling acknowledges that “Hongda” is confusing, and ordered the government committee to reexamine the issue.
Hongda Chemical Group.
The year-long dispute sparked by a single letter in a name used by a Chinese motorcycle manufacturer and according to Honda’s lawyer Xin Zhesheng, “Hongda is very likely to be mistaken by consumers as Honda, the famous brand. It is absolutely illegal for the defendant to continue the use of the Hongda trademark.”
Honda was seeking $1.5 million in damages and a public apology from Chongqing Lifan Hongda Company (which is the former name of the Chongqing Lifan Industrial Group). Hongda’s lawyer Pang Zhengzhong said “Hongda” was used on motors only as decoration, not as a trademark. He said the Hongda cycles are manufactured to target consumers in rural areas and the consumer groups are quite different from those of Honda.
Hongda mobile phones.
And this is just a handful of the companies doing business in China under the Hongda name; but only one was making motorcycles.