Toyo sues Toyama over trademarks
LAS VEGAS (Nov. 18, 2013) — Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. and its U.S. subsidiaries have filed a trademark infringement suit against Toyama Tyre Corp. Ltd. of Tokyo and its subsidiaries, alleging Toyama is marketing and selling tires using trademarks, domain names and logos that infringe on Toyo's tradename and trademark.
Toyo filed suit Nov. 8 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, alleging: "Defendants…have cloaked themselves in the name and trade identities of Toyo to gain entrance into and credibility in the United States and worldwide tire markets. As a result, consumers are likely to believe that defendants are Toyo, or that Toyo sponsors, produces, licenses or is somehow affiliated with defendants or its products."
Toyo is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to prohibit Toyama from continuing to infringe on Toyo Tires' intellectual property rights, together with other corrective relief, including destruction of infringing products and materials, and recovery for damages arising from Toyama's actions.
Toyo said it filed in District Court in Nevada because Toyama was exhibiting at the recently completed Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.
"Toyo Tires invests millions of dollars each year to promote its distinctive name and logo in connection with its products." said Iori Suzuki, senior vice president and general counsel for Toyo Tires.
"We will vigorously defend our intellectual property rights against this type of misuse, and will not hesitate to take action to protect consumers, our associates, and business partners against such deception."
Toyama Tyre describes itself as a Japanese company specializing in tire manufacturing, R&D, sales and after-sale service, selling under the Toyoma brand. It sells tires and tubes for passenger cars, trucks and buses, construction and mining vehicles, industrial machinery, agricultural machinery etc.
The company has as yet not responded to Tire Business' requests for comment. Literature the firm distributed at the recent SEMA Show lists contact addresses in Hong Kong and Beijing.
Information posted on Toyama's website indicates the firm has been in the tire business since at least 2011. The website shows pictures from the company's presence at TyreExpo Asia in 2011, Asian Essen Tire Show in 2011 and Automechanika in 2012.
It's not known if Toyama makes its own tires or contracts their production to a third party or parties. It obtained a U.S. Department of Transportation tire plant identification code, UK, in 2011. That code is assigned to an address in Beijing.
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