Yamaha has filed a lawsuit against a pair of Japanese companies alleging their electric scooter copies the design of the Yamaha Gear BX50 scooter.
The Yamaha Gear BX50 (pictured left above) is a 50cc four-stroke scooter sold in Japan as a commercial-use model, aimed for small business such as newspaper distributors. Yamaha has been offering the BX50 (and the BX50N variant) since 2007, selling 39,917 units as of December 2011.
Yamaha alleges the companies Eco Trade Co. and Taiseienter Co. have copied the Gear’s design for their own electric-powered Eco-bike (pictured right above). It’s mechanics are different, as it is powered by a brushless motor and a lithium-ion battery instead of a gas-powered motor, but the Eco-bike’s design bears many visual similarities. The Eco-bike is also being marketed for business use.
The lawsuit alleges Oita Prefecture-based Eco Trade and Taiseienter have copied the Gear’s design, calling it an “act of unfair competition”. Yamaha is seeking compensation and an injunction against manufacture or sale of the Eco-bike.
Yamaha says it has attempted to reach an “amicable resolution” with both Eco Trade and Taiseienter but those discussions proved unproductive.