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Ford Motor Company is finally challenging Geely Holding Group’s trademark application for the Lynk & Co automotive moniker. We’ve been waiting on this one for a while and are a little curious as to why it took Ford so long to realize the Geely-backed brand sounded so similar to Lincoln Motor Company.
While Chinese manufacturers enjoy a rich history of borrowing designs and names from competing automakers, the brunt of their more brazen attempts at thievery exist in the past — probably because they traditionally end up in court. Geely also has the benefit of plausible deniability since the Lynk name is supposed to hint at the vehicle’s unparalleled level of connectivity. It would be reasonable to assume this was a big coincidence.
Still, even if that is the case, nothing is going to halt the corporate litigation train now that it has left Ford Station.
Lynk & Co was granted one-month extension by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to formally oppose the trademark and until November 15th to file its opposition.
“The Lincoln brand has a rich 100-year history and we intend to protect its reputation,” a Lincoln spokesman expressed to Automotive News in an email. “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.”
Slotted between Geely’s namesake brand and Swedish-made Volvo, Lynk is slated to provide small, technology focused vehicles using the company’s shared Compact Modular Architecture. Starting with the 01 SUV, the Chinese automaker wants to sell digitally shareable vehicles using a direct-to-consumer sales model in Asia and Europe. A sedan — the expertly designated 03 — is expected to reach production sometime later.
With such creatively named vehicle models, it’s almost laughable to think the Chinese brand would intentionally steal another company’s name. However, you can see why Ford might be concerned — they do sound alike and Geely hopes to get those cars into practically every market Lincoln already exists in.
Lynk & Co hopes to migrate sales to North America but has yet to devise a way around the United States’ dealer model. Brand head Alain Visser hinted that the vehicles might make their way to urban Volvo dealerships and would almost assuredly be serviced there if they were ever to go on sale within the Americas.
This article first appeared on thetruthaboutcars.com