Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Honda Intensifies Campaign Against Copycat Motorcycles

Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (HMC), one of the world’s leading motorcycle and automotive manufacturers, recently filed a lawsuit against Luzon Ram Cycle or Ramas-Uypitching Sons, Inc. (RUSI), a Dumaguete-based corporation, for allegedly selling and distributing motorcycles which infringe on five Honda patent and industrial designs in violation of the Intellectual Property Code.

“The V-shaped front top cover,  the center cover below the seat, the main pipe cover with winker hole and a triangle mouth, and the  “Honda Wave 100”  motorcycle introduced in 2005,  are registered industrial designs of Honda motorcycles in many ASEAN countries including the Philippines,” said a Honda executive, who requested not be named. The same executive also mentioned that the frame structures of several RUSI motorcycle models were found to be identical to Honda's main frame motorcycle patent.

As RUSI continued to sell the motorcycle models in question despite a cease and desist letter addressed to its key officers, HMC procured additional motorcycle samples from the respondent's Lipa, Calamba, Antipolo, & Cainta outlets and took video footages & photographs of the facilities for further investigation.

The result of the investigation prompted a police raid in the defendant's Lipa outlet on Dec. 5, 2012. During the raid, lawyers, court officials, and policemen seized documents, tools and machinery, and more than 20 infringing motorcycle models.

Though RUSI submitted a Motion to Quash to the court, it was denied twice, in April and in July 2013.

HMC has filed several lawsuits against distributors over the years for selling motorcycles which infringe on its patent and industrial designs. HMC has also been initiating campaigns to bolster awareness on the proliferation of motorcycle copies as well as educate motorcycle users about safety standards.

“Manufacturers of motorcycle copies are prone to overlook quality control measures since they simply import and assemble parts and accessories. They have no research and development (R&D). The parts are manufactured using materials of inferior quality, so the probability of an accident occurrence is pretty high. On the other hand, Honda and other motorcycle manufacturers invest in R&D to ensure that products exhibit optimum performance,” said the Honda executive.

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