Bridgestone Wins Patent Right Infringement Lawsuit against Wanli Tire in Shanghai Intellectual Property Court

Tokyo (May 31, 2017) - Bridgestone Corporation today announced that it has received a favorable ruling from the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court in its lawsuit regarding the infringement of patent rights against major Chinese tire manufacturers Guangzhou South China Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd., and Guangzhou Fengli Rubber & Tire Co., Ltd. (referred to collectively as “Wanli Tire” hereinafter).

In October 2015, the Company filed a lawsuit with the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court. The lawsuit claimed that tire manufacturing and sales activities conducted by Wanli Tire utilized the tread pattern* of Bridgestone’s Dueler A/T REVO 2 tires for sports utility vehicles, for which the Company owns a patent, and that these activities were therefore in violation of the Company’s patent rights. In April 2017, the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court upheld Bridgestone’s claim and ordered Wanli Tire to cease manufacturing and sales activities that are in violation of the Company’s patent rights, dispose of related molds, and pay damages to the Company.

Bridgestone won a similar lawsuit against Triangle Tyre Co., Ltd in September 2016 in China for violations of design rights that are enforceable over a period of 10 years. This most recent lawsuit was for violation of patent rights that are enforceable over a period of 20 years. The amount of damages to be paid by Wanli Tire is roughly 600,000 Chinese yuan. This decision was issued by the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court, which specializes in intellectual property disputes, and will therefore serve as precedent for future decisions.

Bridgestone is committed to protecting its intellectual property and will continue to deal with any unauthorized use or infringement of its patents, trademarks, or any other intellectual property in a strict manner. With this level of vigilance, Bridgestone is prioritizing the safety and quality associated with its products, and maintaining and enhancing its hard-earned brand value.

* Tread pattern etched into the section of the tire that comes into direct contact with the road’s surface

About Bridgestone Corporation:

Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. In addition to tires for use in a wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in over 150 nations and territories around the world.