By Liz White, ERJ staff
Tokyo-Bridgestone Corp. said 28 July that it has settled a dispute over a design patent infringed by Shandong Chengshan Tire Co. Ltd, a major Chinese tyre manufacturer.
Bridgestone's statement said it acquired a patent on the design of two models-R288 and M858-for radial tyres for trucks and buses, which had been well received in the Chinese market for their durability and performance.â€
In November 2004, Bridgestone asked Shandong Chengshan to halt production of two of its radial tyres for trucks and buses (Shandong Chengshan tyres: CST66 and CST88). These closely resembled Bridgestone's R288 and M858 tyres. When Shandong Chengshan failed to comply with this requetst, Bridgestone filed a design patent infringement complaint in China in January 2005
The court settlement, which Shandong Chengshan agreed to, stipulated that the Chinese tyre maker stops production and sale of the relevant tyres. The Chinese tyre maker must also modify the moulds for the CST66 and CST88 models and allow Bridgestone Group to verify that this has been done.
Bridgestone Group said it intends to rigorously pursue measures, including legal action against all acts of imitation. The aim is to protect what it sees as its uniquely superior technology and designs, acquired by research and development, as intellectual property,â€ Brdgestone's statement said.
The major Japanese tyre maker currently has three tyre manufacturing plants in China, which supply tyres to the Chinese market.
Bridgestone, headquartered in Tokyo, claims to be the world's largest manufacturer of tyres and other rubber products. Tyres account for 80 percent of the group's sales worldwide.