Audi Sues NIO for Infringement of Car Names

German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Thursday that Audi, which is owned by Volkswagen, filed a lawsuit in a Munich court accusing China’s NIO of infringing Audi’s trademark rights.

The lawsuit pertains to two Audi models, the S6 and S8, and NIO‘s decision to name its two models the ES6 and ES8. An Audi spokesperson confirmed the lawsuit, while a NIO spokesperson said it would not comment on ongoing litigation.

NIO released its ES8 model in December 2017 and the ES6 in 2018. Both models have been on sale for more than four years now, with more than 100,000 units sold. The Audi S6 and S8, on the other hand, are performance versions of its A6 and A8 sedans, which have a history dating back to the 1990s.

NIO currently offers the ES7, ES8, ES6, EC6, ET7 and ET5, of which the ES7 was just released on June 15. Before the release of the ES7, NIO founder William Li announced the hardware update plan for ES8, ES6 and EC6 in China first at the conference. Users can purchase hardware upgrades to the Qualcomm 8155 digital cockpit computing platform, a 5G communication module, an 800W pixel driving recorder camera, 360-degree surround view images and in-cabin camera for up to 12,600 yuan ($1,880). This will improve the experience of the center console boot speed, parking image and other functions. According to NIO‘s plan, the above hardware update program and new product plans are expected to be realized in August this year.

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NIO mainly sells products in the Chinese market at present. Last May, NIO entered the Norwegian market and plans to launch new vehicles in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark by the end of this year. The company has already started selling the ES8 model in Norway and plans to launch the ET7 electric sedan in Germany.