China’s Chery Automobile Company has filed a formal complaint against Daimler AG over is usage of “EQ” as designation for an upcoming lineup of Mercedes-Benz electric cars. That’s bad news for Benz, as China possesses the world’s largest EV marketplace and Daimler has already begun promoting its future electric lineup using the name.
In a shocking twist of fate and hypocrisy, Chinese automaker Chery, known for using ripped –off design from established automaker for some for some of its own cars like many other Chinese automakers do, is using Mercedes benz, in Chinese court for trademark infringement. The Chinese government is notoriously relaxed when it comes to its own companies plagiarizing design from other automakers, but this time the table has turned.

Two faced opinions

The German automaker said last year that it would begin producing EQ models in Europe before the end of the decade, with the global sub-brand sold in both eastern and western markets. Unfortunately, Chery already has a fully electric minicar named the EQ that was launched in China in November of 2014. The car is based on the current Chery EQ, which was the centerpiece of a 2005 lawsuit from General Motors following claims that its design was stolen from the Daewoo Matiz and Chevrolet Spark.
A Chery spokeswoman told Reuters on Thursday that the automaker has filed a complaint with the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and hopes to prohibit Mercedes from using the name in China.

The German automaker said last year that it would begin producing EQ models in Europe before the end of the decade, with the global sub-brand sold in both eastern and western markets. Unfortunately, Chery already has a fully electric minicar named the EQ that was launched in China in November of 2014. The car is based on the current Chery QQ, which was the centerpiece of a 2005 lawsuit from General Motors following claims that its design was stolen from the Daewoo Matiz and Chevrolet Spark. A Chery spokeswoman told Reuters on Thursday that the automaker has filed a complaint with the Trademark Office of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and hopes to prohibit Mercedes from using the name in China.

Complication with the usage of EQ name

The EQ name is fitting for Mercedes although not as sexy as the moniker that BMW uses for its own sub brand. If Chery wins the lawsuit, Mercedes will have to scramble to find a way to change the name, even if alteration is only made to Chinese market vehicles. To be fair to Chery this isn’t the first time Mercedes has debuted a vehicle bearing a name to competitor. However no doubt crossing names would hurt the Chinese automaker a few years down the line when Tri star gets serious about its EQ line. In a country which strongly encourages usage of electric vehicles, there’s no doubt that the smaller automaker would lose out , especially when considering the EQ brand will offer when compared to small Chinese cars.