Yeah, it kind of does.
According to Automotive News, Ford Motor Company will challenge China’s Geely Holding Group’s US trademark application for its Lynk & CO brand. Say the word ‘Lincoln’ to yourself, followed by ‘Lynk & CO’ and you’ll understand Ford’s position. Lynk & CO has been granted until November 15 by the US Patent and Trademark Office to officially oppose Ford’s filing. A Lincoln spokesperson explained to Automotive News that the “brand has a rich 100-year history and we intend to protect its reputation.
Lynk & CO is infringing on the Lincoln…trademark and we are taking legal actions to prevent them from using their infringing mark. Their name as it stands will confuse customers.” It’s a fair argument, and Lynk & CO has so far not commented on the matter. While not everyone outside of the auto industry, or those who follow it, has heard of Lynk & CO, they probably will in the near future. The Chinese-owned brand has plans to launch several new small models, including a sedan and crossover, with Volvo technology. All models will be made in China at the same production facility that builds the Volvo XC40 for the Chinese domestic market. Both Volvo and Lynk & CO are controlled by Zhejiang Geely.
Ironically, it was Ford who sold Volvo to Geely back in 2010. Chinese automakers have long had a reputation for copyright infringement on their Western competitors, specifically in design, and, sometimes, name. The latter is clearly the case for this situation. If Ford is victorious in this potential court battle, it could very well set a precedent for future legal proceedings against Chinese carmakers. For example, Jaguar Land Rover has been having a battle of its own against Jiangling Motor for allegedly stealing the design of the Range Rover Evoque. The near copycat Land Wind X7 is the result. Ford has taken particular issue with Lynk & CO because the brand has plans to sell cars in the US at some point in the near future.