Recall ordered on Vinashin scooter amid patent dispute

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A quality control agency has order local vehicle manufacturer Vinashinmotor to recall its Diamond Blue motorcycle amid a debate regarding the design patent and the origin of its engine.

The Vietnam Register, a government body responsible for technical supervision of vehicles, also ordered the company a subsidiary of state-owned shipbuilder Vinashin to halt production of the model until a final decision on the case is reached.

Vu Manh Ha, general director of Vinashinmotor, said that his company has all necessary documents to prove that the motorcycle is legitimate.

The Diamond Blue scooters, which were launched in the local market, are supposedly powered by engines produced by the Sundiro Honda Motorcycle Co in China.

Honda Vietnam, however, has insisted that the engine was not manufactured by any branches of the Japanese corporation, anywhere in the world.

During a Tuesday press briefing, Honda Vietnam General Director Koji Onishi once again confirmed that Honda has never manufactured the engines used in Diamond Blue scooters.

Honda Vietnam said it is the only company that has the right use the Honda brand in Vietnam, and thus it's wrong for the Diamond Blue model to contain a Honda engine.

At the press briefing Italian scooter company Piaggio claimed that Diamond Blue is too similar to the design of Piaggio's Vespa LX.

Even though Piaggio has not patented the design of Vespa LX in Vietnam, the firm said this is an unhealthy practice that needs to be evaluated based on local and international intellectual property regulations.

The Vietnam Competition Administration Department's consumer protection division said it needs more time to access the case before issuing a ruling on the case.

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