There's an old saying that "justice is blind," an adage which has taken a literal meaning thanks to a Greek court's decision to dismiss Daimler's lawsuit against a Chinese copy of the Smart fortwo.
Although the case looked promising for Daimler early on, a Milan court ruling in mid-December 2008 in favor of Shuanghuan in the BMW case seemed to have put the nail in Daimler's coffin. The court found that visual and price differences between BMW's X5 and Shuanghuan CEO were enough to prevent consumers from confusing the two. After winning the case against BMW, Shuanghuan resumed the sale of its CEO SUV in Italy.
The Greek court determined that "an informed buyer would not confuse the Noble with the Smart Fortwo." They also stated that because the two vehicles offer different technical specifications, any exterior styling similarities are irrelevant and almost inevitable because they're both mini-cars.
Chinese auto makers reportedly have 'borrowed' inspiration from BMW's X5, Daewoo's Matiz and the Mercedes-Benz SLK. Various legal challenges have been mounted, some successfully and others less so.
Mercedes-Benz (China) Ltd. started to sell Smart Fortwo, the classic low-emission car under Daimler's Mercedes-Benz brand, in China on April 8 this year.
Source: gasgoo via World Car Fans