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If you try to go to the Polestar site from France, you end up with a message indicating: “Access to the Polestar site is not accessible to the French public due to territorial restrictions on the use of French trademarks n ° 016898173 and n°01689532”. The only way is to go through a VPN or a proxy with an IP outside France. But, the sale is also prohibited because the Polestar logo has been judged as a counterfeit of that of Citroën.
It is not the current Citroën logo which is copied, but the old one, that of 1959 to 1966, with the very straight and angular chevrons. This logo remained on the grilles until 2004. It is true that by rotating one of the chevrons, you get the polestar of Polestar. In short, do not circulate, there is nothing for sale in France for the Geely brand. Finally, they could sell Polestar in France provided they change the logo just for us.
Except that the Citroën brand and logos are registered in Europe (and worldwide). Citroën therefore seized the Tribunal de l’entreprise Francophone de Bruxelles to launch an action against Polestar to prohibit it from using its logo throughout Europe. We should know more in September when the case will be examined.
If the request is successful, Polestar will have to change its logo for Europe (at least), or stop selling its cars. But let’s not put the cart before the horse. Indeed, Citroën has already twice been dismissed from a similar request submitted to the European Union Office for Intellectual Property (EUIOP). Citroën has already brought the case to the court of the European Union, which must render its judgment later.
Neither Citroën nor Polestar obviously want to find an arrangement. The French court is for the moment the only one to have sentenced Polestar to €150,000 in damages towards Citroën and the official ban on selling cars with this logo. Nothing theoretically prevents individuals from registering a Polestar in France as long as they buy it in Europe.
Our opinion, by leblogauto.com
In a sense, intellectual property is absolutely worth protecting. In automotive matters, the “copies” of style, silhouette, or even name are legion. Especially between one continent and another. But, unless I’m mistaken, it’s the first time in contemporary automotive history that a dispute over a logo has gone this far. This dates from 2017 and has led to the ban in France for the moment.
On the other hand, Polestar is a few hundred vehicles sold per month in Europe. Nothing in theory to worry Citroën.
For a logo story deemed too close and counterfeiting that of Citroën, Polestar, a brand of Chinese Geely, cannot sell its electric vehicles in France. Now, Citroën is aiming for a ban across Europe via a complaint to Brussels.