Honda India files lawsuit against Hero Electric for copyright infringement

Imitation is no longer being tolerated these days with many companies now taking their copycats to court. Just recently, we talked about Vespa winning a case against two Chinese copycats. This week Honda is doing the same, but against one from India.

Honda motorcycles has filed a petition with the Delhi High Court for an ad interim injunction against Hero Electric, an Indian manufacturer of electric motorcycles. Honda claims Hero Electric has infringed upon the registered design of Honda’s Moove scooter to create its own electric scooter, the Dash. Honda claims Hero Electric copied the front and rear lights, front cowl, and side panels.

Hero Electric was summoned by the Delhi High Court to hear the allegations and respond. If given an injunction, Hero will not be able to manufacture, sell, or advertise its Dash electric scooter.

The Honda Moove is a petrol-powered 110cc scooter the company used to offer in Thailand, but never to India. The Hero Electric Dash, on the other hand, is an electric scooter that was introduced to the Indian market just last year. It boasts of lithium ion batteries, a range of 60km and a recharge time of between four and eight hours.

Despite bearing the same name, Hero Electric is not associatiated with Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest manufacturer of two-wheelers by volume, and former joint venture partner of Honda in India until 2010. The two companies are owned by relatives but operate independently. In fact, the two have an agreement that Hero MotoCorp cannot sell electric motorcycles under the “Hero” name when or if it decides to do so.

Experts believe this allegation is motivated by Honda’s desire to enter the electric scooter market in India. The country's government has been implementing more and more stringent motorcycle emission standards, paving the way for a transition to electric vehicles. It plans to completely ban small petrol-powered motorcycles by 2025.