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Bridgestone wins patent battle against Qingdao Genco

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TYRE maker Bridgestone Corporation has announced that it has won a design right infringement claim in China against Qingdao Genco Industrial Group Co.

The rival tyre maker, which operates in China’s Shandong Province, was found to have included a tyre featuring Bridgestone’s registered truck and bus tyre tread pattern in its catalogue. Bridgestone filed and won the design rights infringement claim in Qingdao City Intermediate People’s Court.

Paul Foot, partner and patent attorney at Withers & Rogers, said: “This is a victory for manufacturing innovators, confirming that it is indeed possible to enforce your design registration and other intellectual property rights against Chinese manufacturers in China.”

“Bridgestone’s vigilance in terms of spotting the infringement and taking action against it will send a clear message to other producers in China that such copycat engineering will not be tolerated by leading corporates.”

According to the latest WIPO statistics, design filings in China rose by 23.8% between 2010 and 2011 and patent applications by 34.6% in the same period, indicating the country’s growing interest in and respect for intellectual property. In particular, design registrations are increasingly sought after by Chinese manufacturers, with 97.3% of all design applications coming from domestic applicants.

Earlier this year, Bridgestone Corporation successfully sued another Chinese tyre manufacturer, Guanghou Bolex Tyre Ltd, for trade mark infringement.