The China Supreme People's Court has ruled.
This all began back in 2016 when Jaguar Land Rover decided to sue the Jiangling Motor Corporation over copyright infringement. The Chinese automaker's Land Wind X7 looked nearly identical to the Range Rover Evoque. The differences between the two could really only be spotted up close. Chinese copycat automotive designs are nothing new but the Land Wind X7 simply took things too far and JLR could not stand there and do nothing.
Fast forward to last March and JLR managed to claim a victory under China's Unfair Competition Law. This resulted in the Beijing Chaoyang District People's Court ordering Jiangling to stop all acts of unfair competition, including the manufacture, display, and sale of the Land Wind X7. The case was finally settled once and for all, right? Not quite.
Jiangling Holdings Co Ltd. immediately filed an appeal. Only today does this saga appear to finally be over.
According to The National Law Review, the China Supreme People's Court recently rejected Jiangling's appeal. There doesn't seem to be anywhere else Jiangling can turn to at this point. What's interesting is that, for a time, JLR's lawsuit seemed like it'd go nowhere. Jiangling managed to somehow invalidate JLR's Chinese design patent for the Evoque, claiming a "lack of novelty by JLR's own public disclosure before filing." JLR, to its full credit, was having none of that and pursued its lawsuit all the way.
The Land Wind X7, despite being a near Evoque clone, costs significantly less. They were sold for the equivalent of $20,000. The real Ranger Rover Evoque carries a base price of $42,650.
Not only is this case a big deal for JLR, but it also sets a new precedent. Other Chinese automakers may now be susceptible to lawsuits by Western automakers for their own copyright infringements. Whether anything comes from that is something else entirely.
But for now, JLR has won the legal victory that should have never taken four years to resolve.