[JURIST] A German court [Bavarian justice system website, in German] Friday ruled that a sports utility vehicle manufactured in China bore an unacceptable resemblance to a model manufactured by German automaker BMW [corporate website], ordering the SUV's importers to stop sales of the infringing SUV, destroy all remaining cars, and pay compensatory damages to BMW. China Automobile said it would appeal the ruling to the European Court of Justice [official website], arguing that Germany could not ban a vehicle that was legal throughout the rest of Europe. AP has more.
This is not the first time Chinese automakers has been accused of imitating foreign car design. Last year, DaimlerChrysler threatened to sue Shuanghuan Automobile [Forbes report] over a car it alleged infringed on its designs. Counterfeit luxury goods have been an increasing problem [AutoChannel report] for many countries in recent years and many have taken steps to crack down on Chinese "copycat cars."