There’s an interesting lawsuit going on between Yamaha Motor Corporation and Patriot Motorcycles Corporation over the offroad motorcycles and ATVs sold by Patriot under the Yamoto brand name. Yamoto is a Chinese company making what is alleged to be a knockoff of Yamaha motorcycles, using both a similar name, design and color scheme that Yamaha says is intended to confuse the U.S. consumer. “Yamaha claims that the distribution of these products is an obvious and deliberate attempt to trade off of Yamaha’s reputation and goodwill in the industry.”
According to the reports over on Roadracing World, when they spoke to an attorney for Patriot, he said they were caught totally by surprise when notified of the lawsuit and they are working with Yamaha to come to some sort of agreement.
Well, they may have been caught by surprise at the moment the lawsuit arrived on their doorstep but you have to believe they’ve at least entertained the possibility Yamaha would be slightly peeved. If you look at the photos, you’ll notice obvious similarities in appearance and you have to admit the names, Yamaha – Yamoto, certainly have a family resemblance. Even the website is similar, check the name, logo and layout on the Yamoto site and the Yamaha site. Notice a certain similarity? Unless someone is deliberately trying to confuse the issue, don’t you think it would be easy to come up with a dissimilar name and logo? Maybe try to make your product look a little more unique?
This sounds a lot like the Chery – Chevy argument going on between Chevrolet and Malcolm Bricklin. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.