The Bridgestone Corporation received a favorable ruling from a Chinese court in a trademark case involving Shenzhen Momentum Star Tyre Co. and its affiliate Hangzhou Hangyou Rubber Products Co. over use of a logo similar to the Japanese tire manufacturer’s.
The Chinese court ruled that the Chinese companies’ use of the brand name Besttone and a logo similar to Bridgestone’s constituted trademark infringement. The court ordered the companies to stop production and sales of Besttone tires and pay damages. This recent decision upholds Bridgestone’s suit filed in 2010 that was appealed by Shenzhen and Hangzhou Hangyou.
A Bridgestone press release about the case states: “The Bridgestone Group is committed to protecting its intellectual property, and will continue to take aggressive action in the courts and before regulators to dispute any unauthorized use or infringement of Bridgestone trademarks or other intellectual property, and will oppose any attempt to sell goods under names confusingly similar to Bridgestone trademarks.”
Meanwhile, a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas is currently involved in another trademark infringement suit. Bridgestone Bandag LLC (now Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions) filed suit against Digby Adler Group LLC for trademark infringement and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Digby has used a “Bandago” logo for its passenger car and van rental services since 2003. However, after reaching a settlement in 2010 that limited Digby’s use of the logo within those services, Bridgestone claimed that Digby redesigned its logo to one that was “highly similar in appearance, phonetically and [gave] the same commercial impression [as the Bandag logo].”
“Despite the fact that Digby had an entire universe of potential logos to choose from, Digby refused to even modify the logo and continued to use it,” Bandag says in the complaint. Bridgestone claimed that the use of the logo is likely to cause confusion and deceive customers. The company is seeking an injunction to prohibit Digby’s continued use of the logo as well as damages.
Bridgestone Corp. is the #1 tiremaker in the world for the fifth year in a row, according to the most recent Rubber & Plastics News’ annual ranking, followed by Michelin and Goodyear.