Volkswagen Group's VWAGY Audi has sued Nio Inc NIO alleging the Chinese EV maker’s ES6 and ES8 model names infringe the trademark rights of two of its models, the S6 and S8, CnEVpost reported on Thursday, citing German media outlet Handelsblatt.
What Happened: Audi has alleged in a lawsuit filed in a Munich court that some of Nio’s models offered for the first time in Europe would infringe Audi's trademark rights.
Audi has been selling the S6 and S8 sedans for several years while Nio launched the ES6 electric SUV in 2019 and the ES8 SUV in September.
"Like many successful companies, Audi is always careful to protect its trademark rights comprehensively," the report said, citing a company spokesman.
Why It Matters: Nio is among a handful of Chinese EV startups that have quickly established a product lineup ahead of legacy rivals. After finding success in China, it has set its sight on overseas expansion.
Nio last year made a foray into Europe with Norway as its first market for overseas expansion. Shanghai-based Nio also plans to expand to Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark this year.
In China, Nio sees Xpeng Inc XPEV, Tesla Inc TSLA, BYD Co BYDDY, Volkswagen, and Li Auto Inc LI as its main rivals.
Price Action: Nio closed 4.6% lower at $19.18 on Thursday, according to data from Benzinga Pro.
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