Intellectual property rights have long been a sensitive subject in China, as domestic manufacturers have blatantly copied the design of foreign name-brand goods to build look-alike products at a substantially lower price than the original. However, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is not standing for it, filing suit against Chinese domestic automaker Jiangling in Beijing district court, citing copyright and unfair competition issues, Reuters reports.
Jiangling’s Landwind X7 SUV is a near dead-ringer for the higher-priced Range Rover Evoque, which JLR recently began manufacturing in China for the domestic market. The Landwind X7 is approximately one-third the price of the Evoque, and a grille and badge kit is offered on Alibaba’s Taobao online shopping site (essentially China’s equivalent to Amazon) for only $20 to make it look even more like the original.
Although the quality, technology, and sophistication of the knockoff products is often far inferior to the name-brand model, fashion-minded consumers often overlook such shortcomings to have style on the cheap. For years, foreign automakers have essentially turned the other cheek, fighting an uphill battle with an excruciatingly slow and bureaucratic legal system notorious for favoring domestic companies. Honda, which sued a domestic Chinese automaker for copying its popular CR-V crossover, won only after a prolonged 12-year legal fight and ended up settling for less than one-tenth the monetary damages it originally sought.