France 04 Dec 2020

Polestar logo temporarily banned – too similar to Citroën’s

In a long-running dispute, Citroën has claimed that Polestar’s logo is too similar to their own. The EU Intellectual Property Office EUIPO has concluded that the logos are not confusing. However, the French court has ruled in favor of Citroën and Polestar may not use its logo in France for six months. Polestar was also ordered to pay both legal costs and damages.

The French car company Citroën, owned by PSA Group, which also includes the electric car brand DS Automobiles, thinks that the components in Polestar’s logo are too similar to both Citroën’s and DS Automobiles’. The Swedish car manufacturer Polestar, owned 50% by Volvo Cars, whose logo consists of a depiction of the pole star, holds an EU registration. Polestar, on the other hand, claims that there is no similarity.

The French national court ruled in favour of Citroën as the logotype consisting of similar emblem of double chevrons constitutes a problem. As Citroën is known worldwide as the “brand of chevrons”, Polestar can indirectly benefit from this reputation, which is why the court decided of a temporary prohibition for Polestar to use its logotype in France for six months from July 2020.

Polestar will thus be obliged to pay to Citroën 70,000 Euros in legal costs and 150,000 Euros, which corresponds to 0.05% of what the car brand annually spends on advertising in France. What happens after six months is unclear.

Citroën has also approached EUIPO to have Polestar’s approved figure registrations cancelled. At EUIPO, however, the outcome was the opposite of the French court. Here, EUIPO concluded that Polestar’s logo is not to be confused with either Citroën’s or DS Automobile’s logos. PSA has appealed the decision to EUIPO.

 

Feature Photo of Polestar steering wheel by Alexander Migl

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