China’s Supreme People’s Court has granted a favourable ruling towards Japan-based global tyre and rubber company Bridgestone Corporation in an infringement lawsuit involving the company’s tyre tread design rights against Chinese tyre manufacturer Triangle Tyre Co., Ltd.
Triangle Tyre has been manufacturing and selling tyres in China using a tread pattern for studless winter tyres for which Bridgestone holds exclusive design rights.
In October 2013, Bridgestone filed a lawsuit with the Intermediate People’s Court in Changchun, China. The lawsuit claimed that the activities of Triangle Tyre constituted a design rights infringement. In July 2015, the claim made by Bridgestone was upheld, and the court ordered Triangle Tyre to cease manufacture and sale of tyres that use the tread pattern and pay damages to Bridgestone.
While Triangle Tyre appealed the decision, the High People’s Court in Jilin Province upheld the original ruling in January 2016 in a second trial, resulting in a victory for Bridgestone. In June 2016, Triangle Tyre submitted an appeal for a retrial to China’s Supreme People’s Court.
However, in September 2016 this court determined that the result of the second trial was appropriate, rejecting Triangle Tyre’s appeal and upholding Bridgestone’s claim.
Bridgestone says they are committed to protecting their intellectual property and will continue to aggressively address any unauthorised use or infringement of their patents, trademarks, or any other intellectual property in a strict manner.