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Old 3rd June 2020, 10:45   #1
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Default Honda sues Hero Electric over E-scooter design

The Delhi High Court on May 22 asked Hero Electric to respond to the allegations. The lawsuit comes at a time when Honda’s local two-wheeler subsidiary, HMSI, is exploring possibilities to bring its electric scooters to India amid a major push by the country toward environment-friendly transportation.

Honda sues Hero Electric over E-scooter design-heroelectricdasherlaunchedinindiad340.jpg
One on the left is Hero Electric's Dash scooter, and the one on right is Honda Motor's Moove scooter
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New Delhi: Honda Motor has approached the Delhi High Court accusing Hero Electric Vehicles of copying its design and seeking to stop the Indian company from manufacturing, selling and advertising the Dash electric scooter.

The Japanese manufacturer, in its petition seeking an ad interim injunction against Hero Electric, has alleged that the Indian company was “infringing” on the “registered design” of the rear cover and front and rear lamps of its Moove electric scooter.

Hero Electric had launched the Dash brand of electric scooters last year with a starting price of Rs 62,000. Honda’s Moove isn’t currently available in India.

Honda did not respond to an email seeking comment, while Hero Electric declined to comment.

Hero Electric is owned by Naveen Munjal, a relative of the Munjals of Hero MotoCorp. But the company has no business association with the NSE and BSE-listed Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest manufacturer of two-wheelers by volume.

The Delhi High Court on May 22 asked Hero Electric to respond to the allegations, as per court documents seen by ET. It heard the arguments of Honda on May 29 and was to hear Hero Electric Vehicles on Tuesday, but the case was re-listed for June 11, a lawyer said.

The lawsuit comes at a time when Honda’s local two-wheeler subsidiary, HMSI, is exploring possibilities to bring its electric scooters to India amid a major push by the country toward environment-friendly transportation.
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Last edited by wheelguy : 3rd June 2020 at 10:55.
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Old 3rd June 2020, 15:34   #2
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Default Re: Honda sues Hero Electric over E-scooter design

This will be a very interesting case with a lot of skeletons in the closet.

One side you have white label Make(cough assembled cough) in India brands which provide electric mobility at very accessible price points.

vs

Big Red who haven't registered/patented the Moove's design in India. It's only sold in Thailand. So do we respect international designs or turn a blind eye for domestic gains(a-la China).

Speaking of skeletons in the closet. Hero electric's AE-47 is a chinese electric transplant of (yet-again)Honda's CB150R.
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The list goes on ... https://www.zigwheels.com/news-featu...po-2020/37470/

Instead of buying kits from China, they could get Honda to (genuinely)Make in India and assemble it here. Differentiate via software addons, services, use their leaner company for greater reach.
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Old 3rd June 2020, 17:20   #3
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Default Re: Honda sues Hero Electric over E-scooter design

Does Honda really plan on introducing its scooter here ? Guess they are selling droves of Activas and would not introduce until the market grows to atleast 10%.

Hero should say Honda can copy their price if they want Also, should Piaggio do the same for Bajaj e-scooter ?

Last edited by srishiva : 3rd June 2020 at 17:21.
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Old 4th June 2020, 08:41   #4
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Default Re: Honda sues Hero Electric over E-scooter design

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Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
Does Honda really plan on introducing its scooter here ?
Doesn't matter. Even to an untrained scooter eye like mine, this is blatant copying & intellectual theft. Hero Electric should conduct its business more ethically as a 100-crore (revenue) company that sells 30,000 - 40,000 vehicles a year.

I receive a lot of press releases from them and it really comes across as an organisation that makes more "noise" than "action".
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Old 4th June 2020, 13:03   #5
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Default Re: Honda sues Hero Electric over E-scooter design

That's quite unfortunate and rather cheap on part of Hero - the entire front looks a twin-copy of the Honda design! Typically, before anyone goes to court for litigation in such IPR violations / theft, they engage with the each other to resolve it in a "friendly" manner - modify the designs to steer clear of any violations; purchase the license rightfully to use it in a given jurisdiction; etc. Failing those "friendly" talks is when things gets aggressive to the point of courts and formal litigations.

It would appear then, Hero has ignored those friendly overtures.

But did they (Hero) not get the design honcho from BMW in what had been "big news" at the time? Why then the need to steal/copy?
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Old 4th June 2020, 13:18   #6
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Default Re: Honda sues Hero Electric over E-scooter design

Their design brains have not returned from lock down yet. I am not sure how legal system would resolve such an issue. I am guessing there is some (minor) variation done by Hero electric. Its like McDonald and MacDonald.

Last edited by srini1785 : 4th June 2020 at 13:41.
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Old 4th June 2020, 14:23   #7
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Default Re: Honda sues Hero Electric over E-scooter design

Articles report that Hero electric does not manufacture its own designs, but rather gets kits from China.

This is even more worrying, as several fellow Indians trust the Hero brand blindly and plonk their hard earned money based on their experience with Hero brand, and specifically their 100 cc commuter motorcycles.

Now, if a company has not even paid attention to the blatantly visible exterior styling, I am not sure if they would have paid enough attention to the more critical bits like the battery, heat management, brakes and other safety critical parts of the e-Scooter!

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Old 4th June 2020, 20:57   #8
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Default Re: Honda sues Hero Electric over E-scooter design

To reiterate just in case, Hero electric has no direct connection with hero motor India Ltd, manufacturers of motorbikes you mentioned.

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Originally Posted by aravind.anand View Post
This is even more worrying, as several fellow Indians trust the Hero brand blindly and plonk their hard earned money based on their experience with Hero brand, and specifically their 100 cc commuter motorcycles. Now, if a company has not even paid attention to the blatantly visible exterior styling, I am not sure if they would have paid enough attention to the more critical bits like the battery, heat management, brakes and other safety critical parts of the e-Scooter!
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Old 5th June 2020, 14:52   #9
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Default Re: Honda sues Hero Electric over E-scooter design

If Honda have not patented their design in India, I think Hero has the right to sell in India.
What I understand is the company has to register their design patent in the country where they have plans to sell
If not done other companies who have launched their product before can continue to sell.

Please correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 5th June 2020, 16:17   #10
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Default Re: Honda sues Hero Electric over E-scooter design

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Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
If Honda have not patented their design in India, I think Hero has the right to sell in India.
What I understand is the company has to register their design patent in the country where they have plans to sell
If not done other companies who have launched their product before can continue to sell.

Please correct me if I am wrong.
India is signatory to international treaties on intellectual property rights and that obligates all signatory countries to protect the IP rights of anyone who has registered and has been granted IPR protection in any of those countries. It's not easy in practice, though. This is an example of case where IPR protection is relevant.
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Old 6th June 2020, 00:09   #11
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Default Re: Honda sues Hero Electric over E-scooter design

Hero Electric didn't have any design inputs, like all of their products they are just chinese imports, so Hero Electric has to just stop the imports of this particular scooter. They didn't spend a penny on R&D.

Honda should sue the OEM of that scooter company but I doubt they will win in the chinese courts.

Last edited by aim120 : 6th June 2020 at 00:11.
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Old 6th June 2020, 04:23   #12
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Default Re: Honda sues Hero Electric over E-scooter design

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Originally Posted by Motard_Blr View Post
India is signatory to international treaties on intellectual property rights and that obligates all signatory countries to protect the IP rights of anyone who has registered and has been granted IPR protection in any of those countries. It's not easy in practice, though. This is an example of case where IPR protection is relevant.
So do you mean that if Honda patents a design in Japan but some other company launches the design in India, it will be patent infringement? I doubt this because I know many companies thinking strategically to apply for patent in even those countries where they don't even sell any products. This is because the company plans to entry or bring the product at a later part of time in the particular country.

Please shed more light on this.
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Old 6th June 2020, 09:58   #13
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Default Re: Honda sues Hero Electric over E-scooter design

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
...

Please shed more light on this.
Here you go:

The website of a well knownv law firm that contains details of all important IPR international agreements.

https://www.rkdewan.com/treatiesdetails.php?pid=1

Last edited by Motard_Blr : 6th June 2020 at 09:59.
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Old 6th June 2020, 10:04   #14
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Default Re: Honda sues Hero Electric over E-scooter design

The Hero is clearly a copy and it is good that Honda should sue, that scooter reminds me of the Goldwing but off course, Hero doesn't have a Goldwing. I don't know how much money does Honda make from the Goldwing but they probably still make it as it is a flagship and a good brand builder, which is something Hero hasn't done.
Hero has all the resources in the world to design its own unique scooter and it is a pity they don't have the confidence. I don't want Indian OEM's to have the Chinese like reputation, I am kinda proud that brands like Tata and Mahindra do their own thing.
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Old 7th June 2020, 17:12   #15
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Default Re: Honda sues Hero Electric over E-scooter design

Hero will be the last company in the world to spend money on Design and R&D. They are still flogging the old old Honda frames and engines.
This is nothing short of blatant copying and sadly Hero has even outsourced this misadventure.
Hero and Maruti take the cake when it comes to squeezing maximum profit from the customer and giving dated stuff in return.
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