Is the Polestar logo too similar to Citroën and DS?
PSA has temporarily halted the market launch of Polestar in France with a lawsuit. PSA claims that the logo of the Swedish-Chinese electric car brand is too similar to those of Citroën and DS.
++ This article has been updated. Please find the latest news at the end. ++
This puts a question mark over deliveries of the Polestar 2 planned to begin in France in 2021. Certainly, with the block on Polestar website material in France, the question is whether the Polestar will need more time to accumulate orders from the country.
A European court first dismissed Citroën’s claim for infringement of trademark rights in June this year, stating that there are too few similarities between the logos, and that car buyers can be trusted not to get confused by the logos. A little later, a French court decided against Polestar and for Citroën stating that will have to pay 150,000 in damages to Citroën and freeze sales of Polestar electric cars in France for six months.
Accordingly, for those trying to look at the Polestar website in France, there isn’t much to see. Potentially interested parties are merely greeted with a note informing them that the French public cannot access the company’s content due to “territorial restrictions”.
Update 10 November 2020: There has been a curious update in the developments around the logo lawsuit involving PSA and Polestar. Autocar uprooted a detail in the local court case, where a French court has temporarily banned Polestar from using its logo in France, if only for six months from the issuing of the court order in July 2020.
A Polestar spokesperson told Autocar: “Polestar does not operate in France and we currently have no plans to operate in France. There is an ongoing legal case in France concerning the use of the Polestar logo, initiated by Citroën.”
What we wonder though, is how the case would literally look different six months from now but that’s for the French court to decide. A timely roll-out does not seem likely, to say the least, but that’s France. Polestar stresses, “The case only relates to France and does not apply to any other countries.”
Update 01 September 2022
Polestar may enter the French market after PSA (now Stellantis) had temporarily stopped the launch of Polestar in France with a lawsuit. Reason: The logo of the Swedish-Chinese EV brand was too similar to those of Citroën and DS.
As a Citroën spokesperson now now told the French newspaper Le Monde, the legal dispute has been settled. “The complaints have been withdrawn. The case is closed,” the spokesperson explained, without, however, giving details of the agreement.
Given the European court ruling from nearly two years ago, where judges dismissed Citroën’s claim for infringement of trademark rights, stating that there are too few similarities between the logos, and that car buyers can be trusted not to get confused by the logos, perhaps French judges now agreed.
Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.