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Sep 26

Michelin Wins Intellectual Property Infringement Lawsuit 

The Michelin Group has won a lawsuit against a dealer in Canada for selling a Chinese tire that violates intellectual property rights regarding the BFGoodrich Tires All-Terrain T/A KO2 tire.

Michelin filed the lawsuit in the Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada (Michelin v. Tire Boys & Auto Service Inc., case no. SJC-52-2022). The suit alleged that the All-Terrain T/A AK3 tire sold under the Wideway brand included a virtually identical tread design to the original BFGoodrich Tires All-Terrain T/A KO tire.

The tire also had substantially the same features as those protected by intellectual property rights for the All-Terrain T/A KO2 tire, which Michelin manufactures in the United States under its wholly-owned BFGoodrich Tires brand. DOT markings on the Wideway All-Terrain T/A AK3 tire indicate the product is manufactured in China. Tire Boys & Auto Service Inc. and Atlantic Tire King Inc. failed to appear or respond in the lawsuit, which prompted Michelin’s motion for judgment.

From the court’s order:

  • The defendants are no longer allowed to sell any Wideway tires.
  •  The defendants are prevented from infringing Michelin’s “T/A trademark.”
  • The defendants were charged $50,000 in damages for violating Michelin intellectual property rights.
  • The defendant was charged $10,000 in costs for intentional disregard and $1,100 as compensation for disbursements.

Michelin takes seriously any unauthorized use or infringement of its patents, trademarks or any other intellectual property.

“Michelin monitors the marketplace for infringements of our intellectual property on all of our products,” said Harold Phillips, global general manager for BFGoodrich Tires. “Michelin will continue to pursue legal action to protect our products that are covered by our intellectual property. The BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tire and its legacy represent the achievement of many years of technical development and is one of the flagship products in our product portfolio. We will continue to actively protect IP rights, with this product line as well as our entire portfolio.”

Michelin previously acted in numerous other countries, alongside the North American filing, to protect its intellectual property rights from Wideway’s alleged infringement.

The original BFGoodrich Tires All-Terrain T/A KO tire, the predecessor for the current BFGoodrich Tires All-Terrain T/A KO2 product at the center of the litigation, created and defined a new, essential category when it was introduced in 1976. Every tire is stamped with “Baja Champion” on the sidewall, representing its class-winning status in the grueling SCORE Baja 1000.

This tire also is consistently ranked at or near the top of its category based on performance and driver preference. Buyers on tirerack.com, for example, report driving the BFGoodrich Tires All-Terrain T/A KO2 more than 12 million miles and assign a 4.5-star rating (from a maximum 5 stars). This tire has been selected as original equipment for the Ford F-150 Raptor and the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. The tire has been recommended by experts at respected outlets such as Outside magazine, Gear Patrol, Car & Driver magazine, Four-Wheeler magazine and many others.

Source: BFGoodrich

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