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German Appeal Court Affirms Audi's Trademark Win over NIO's ES6 and ES8 Models

The Munich Higher Regional Court issued a second-instance verdict, affirming that NIO's naming of its two electric vehicle models as ES6 and ES8 constitutes trademark infringement against Audi's S6 and S8. NIO is barred from marketing its products in Germany under the names.

NIO expressed disappointment with the ruling but assured that it wouldn't affect its operations or users. The company said it remains committed to providing advanced electric vehicles and services in Europe. NIO has already rebranded its ES series models as the EL series in the European market to sidestep potential trademark issues, ensuring that actual sales remain uninterrupted.

Whether NIO will appeal the decision remains uncertain.

The dispute between the two sides dates back to June 2022, when media reports indicated that Audi had filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against NIO in the Munich Regional Court. Audi alleged in the lawsuit that NIO's naming of its models as ES6 and ES8, resembling Audi's S6 and S8, could confuse consumers.

In January 2023, the Munich Regional Court ruled in favor of Audi, citing the potential for confusion between NIO's trademarks and Audi's S series models, resulting in NIO being prohibited from selling its products in Germany under the names ES6 and ES8.

NIO later appealed the decision to the Munich Higher Regional Court and renamed its SUV products for the German market.

Source:China Intellectual Property

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