Michelin files suit against look-alike tires

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Following notifications to tire dealers and several lawsuits, Michelin again is filing suits in North Africa, North America and Europe, this time against dealers selling Double Coin brand tires.

In December 2005, Michelin alerted more than 5,000 dealers in various countries of the risks involved in marketing look-alike tires from Asia. These look-alike products copy the tread patterns of Michelin truck tires, and while the two treads may look alike, the forged tires may not deliver the same grip or longevity of performance as a patented Michelin tire, the company says.

Nonetheless, Michelin says unauthorized copies of its tread patterns still can be found in the market, notably under the Double Coin brand. That’s why Michelin has taken legal actions against dealers of these products in all countries in which they have been identified by Michelin sales teams.

In the United States, Michelin North America Inc. has initiated a suit against the Chinese Manufacturers Alliance. This patent and copyright infringement lawsuit, filed in federal court in Greenville, S.C., accuses CMA of importing and selling the Double Coin RT606 and the DynaTrac RS330 tires, both of which allegedly utilize unauthorized copies of the patented Michelin XZE tread pattern. Michelin is seeking an injunction against further distribution, as well as monetary damages.