Vietnamese company Vinashinmotor has started selling motorbikes that look like Vespas and use the Honda brand name, the companies from Italy and Japan, respectively, complain. The state-owned company’s new Honda Diamond Blue motorbike looks almost exactly like the Vespa LX, which is assembled in Vietnam and costs $2,600 dollars, about double the Vinashinmotor version.
Vinashinmotor says it has complied strictly with intellectual property rules and Piaggio could not sue because it had not copyrighted the Vespa LX design in Vietnam. Vietnam’s Institute for Intellectual Property says there was no reason to believe the motorbike violated Piaggio’s copyright.
Even so, the case is not encouraging to companies that want to introduce new consumer products and technologies to Vietnam, especially since Vinashinmotor is a subsidiary of the troubled Vinashin that is embroiled in sandal that let to the recent arrest of six of the company’s officers, including two former chief executives.
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