Daimler loses - Greek court rules in favor of Chinese smart fortwo clone

Shuanghuan Noble
Shuanghuan Noble

Justice is blind

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.

This effectively ends a long legal battle which started when Daimler blocked Shuanghuan from displaying the Noble at the Bologna Motor Show in 2007. Although the car was later allowed to go on sale in Europe in early 2008, Daimler kept up the pressure which resulted in Shuanghuan marketing the Noble under the slogan "Smarter than the rest".

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.

While many of us are likely to label the court's decision as ludicrous, it follows similar legal precedents set in other European court battles against an onslaught of Chinese clones.

Thankfully, many of the Chinese copies that eventually reach European markets typically fare poorly as consumers balk at their horrid questionable safety, quality and dismal reliability.

Source: gasgoo.com

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Comments (27)

anonymous anonymous
yea. they should make a copy of slr. i'll be the first to test drive it. slr selling at a price of a normal sedan, anyone interested?
May 30th, 2009 10:01pm
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I'm a shame of my race, since I'm a Chinese. I always wonder why no one have the guts and idea of building something unique? WHY?
May 30th, 2009 3:30am
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amhirst amhirst
From a technical point of view, the two cars are not that similar. The Noble is a 4-seater, and has a front-engined layout. Hence the ruling of the court.
May 29th, 2009 6:13pm
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that's right China . don't follow the dirty ,shameless , double-standard example established by the United States of America who stole Nazi Germany's military technology secrets after the war plus their truckload of scientists in order to jumpstart its archaic war machines . ....it's blatant THIEVERY you know...oh , and did I forget to mention about Roosevelt requiring Britain to transfer wholesale it's wartime technology to the US in exchange for the Yanks helping the Brits during the dark days of WW2 ? now that is qualified IMPERIALIST statecraft plain and simple , you know .
May 28th, 2009 11:45pm
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nendor nendor
they should copy Bugatti or 599 or an SLR :P not SMaRT ..
May 28th, 2009 7:25pm
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alessandro alessandro
Application of European tradition of justice to the Asian mentality never works because of remarkable gap between two worlds. One is based on individuality, onto the law supporting rights of one (any) being, second one is collective farm, based on suppression of individuality under "interest" (no such thing but anyway) of many. That case was lost because of the justice as it is blind and so unable to see its own limits on interpretations of law beyond the interests of individual rights with not to be deliberately confronted to any system which is not based on defense of individual interests in that world. It is a basic conflict in our planet even in accord with Bible.
May 28th, 2009 7:10pm
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Razz Razz
Who will buy this piece of sxxx? After we have all had experiences with fake copies for clothing, electronics and so on .. now they think that we will buy an European Car chinese copy? It.s like suicide planning if you buy, not drunke being, a car like this .. the Smart is THE Smart .. and that's it !
May 28th, 2009 6:30pm
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this is rubbish. damn them. all they are good for is copying. no talent
May 28th, 2009 3:07pm
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Aluraeo Aluraeo
Hahaha its ironic everyone is screwing chinese cars over when in all honesty I dare anyone who drives a main-stream car to tell me that in their cars there is no parts made from china.... My view on this is simple. European car manufacturers are now forced to up their game. All the better for us consumers who at times have to put up with over-priced cars.
May 28th, 2009 12:52pm
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Aesthetics Aesthetics
Star Wars, The Clone Wars
May 28th, 2009 10:43am
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opelbauer opelbauer
Hahaaa that's right! :)
May 28th, 2009 7:09pm
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Aesthetics Aesthetics
they have the audacity to call it 'noble' and had a marketing slogan which says "smarted than the rest".
May 28th, 2009 10:39am
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captwhizbang captwhizbang
So whats new...they've already copied checkers and fire drills...no telling what else is going on behind that big arse wall they built!
May 28th, 2009 8:25am
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N20_Purge N20_Purge
Screw chinese designers. They probably got away with this since 80% of purchasable items have a 'Made in China' logo on them.
May 28th, 2009 6:49am
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jdmgtr jdmgtr
I say "You go China!", because Mercedes is simply a trendy wannabe company, where as most Chinese automakers are just trying to get by in a half communist country.
May 28th, 2009 5:51am
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Pentium Pentium
Those Chinese makers should die forever!
May 28th, 2009 5:36am
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igabbmw igabbmw
Can't agree more
May 28th, 2009 8:31am
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THese chinese are just lazy or they can't pay any designers. The judge on this case has obviously never seen a smart fortwo
May 28th, 2009 4:37am
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scratchy996 scratchy996
this is just the beginning...
May 28th, 2009 4:36am
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adz612 adz612
How the hell do the chinese keep getting away with cloning cars? My Lord! Please just kill it
May 28th, 2009 4:26am
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freeway freeway
that decision is totally stupid... with this paper in their hands chinese clone crap cars will invade all countries (much like H1N1 flu) and they will feel free now to copy more and more brands... hopefully the buyers will know which is which and will refuse these trash bins on wheels
May 28th, 2009 3:44am
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TheSilentKnight TheSilentKnight
Oh WTF?! Come on you dumb-arsed judges, wake up! Isn't it obvious people that those within the Greek court are not in tune with the world of motoring. Obviously they don't mind saving a penny or two for some cheap Chinese crap with human body parts probably hidden within the vehicle ( as I speculated before when we talked about that BYD T6 crap-heap, aka cheap Chinese copy of the Porsche Cayenne ), hence their stupid decision based purely on out-dated economics. Shame, Greek court, shame. Even more shame on the Chinese car manufacturing industry, who are about to penetrate my market ( the Australian market ) with their motorised toilet seats. Cause that's all Chinese-made care are good for, crapping in.
May 28th, 2009 2:31am
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Xanavi23 Xanavi23
Hey man, cool it. Im greek, i don't agree with the decisions although the reasons they stated make sense. Also unless you're illiterate, the article says that many other European states have already taken the same stance and decision, Greece is just echoing others in tough economic times.
May 28th, 2009 7:27am
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kimbo kimbo
so daimler is the only one that have right to build small 2 passenger car?
May 28th, 2009 2:04am
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MonnoncMaxou MonnoncMaxou
It has nothing to do with the fact that it is a Supermini 2 passenger car. It has to do with the fact that it's a blatant copy. It's not impossible to make a similar car that is distinguishable. Toyata did with the IQ.
May 28th, 2009 2:14am
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