BBS successfully prosecutes the brand pirates
- BBS brand values are recognised worldwide
- Thirty brand pirates are being pursued
- Large investment being made in market protection
- BBS to introduce an authenticity hologram in 2018
Premium German alloy wheel manufacturer BBS has won a legal battle against Vannetukku, one of Finland’s largest tyre and wheel web shop, who sell alloy wheels under the 885 brand, intentionally chosen for its visual similarity to BBS.
In addition, 885 sells light-alloy wheels under the names LeMans and Classic RS, which not only look deceptively similar to BBS designs, but are also sold under the guise of having motorsport roots.
On 27 January 2017, a Finnish court ruled that the 885 logo used by Vannetukku was confusingly similar to the BBS logo, an internationally registered (FI-Marke No 122033) trademark. Recognising that the infringement of the BBS trademark by the 885 brand was at least negligent, the court prohibited its further use, and ordered Vannetukku to pay compensation to BBS. Although the Finnish court ruling is now final, further proceedings in other countries are still ongoing.
This is just one example of the successful cross-border pursuit and prosecution of brand pirates through the joint efforts of BBS GmbH in Germany and BBS Japan. “We will not let brand pirates profit by riding on the back of our brand equity,” explains Erwin Eigel, Vice President of Aftermarket Sales at BBS GmbH. “To make pirating even more difficult in the future, we will be applying a hard-to-copy authentication hologram to all BBS branded wheels manufactured from 2018 onwards.”
So far, several dozen serious copyright violations have been uncovered worldwide and successfully prosecuted in the courts. While these legal proceedings can take several years to reach their conclusion, BBS vows to remain vigilant and relentless in the protection of their brand.