GREENVILLE, S.C., April 26 2022 ― The Michelin Group filed suit today against a dealer located in Canada for selling an alleged Chinese counterfeit tire that violates intellectual property rights for the BFGoodrich® Tires All-Terrain T/A® KO2.
Michelin filed the lawsuit in the Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada (Michelin v. Tire Boys & Auto Service Inc., case no. SJC-52-2022).
In its complaint, Michelin alleges that the All-Terrain T/A AK3 tire sold under the Wideway brand includes a virtually identical tread design with substantially the same features as those protected by intellectual property rights for the All-Terrain T/A KO2 tire, which Michelin manufactures in the United States under its wholly-owned BFGoodrich Tires brand. DOT markings on the Wideway All-Terrain T/A AK3 tire indicate the product is manufactured in China.
Michelin is also taking actions in other numerous countries, alongside the North American filing, in order to protect its intellectual property rights from Wideway’s alleged infringement.
“The BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tire and its legacy represent the achievement of many years of technical development in the Michelin organization,” said Harold Phillips, global general manager for BFGoodrich Tires brand, a wholly-owned Michelin entity based in the United States. “Unrivaled in off-road performance and loyalty, many competitors have tried and failed to match its capabilities. Michelin will actively defend its products, and we will continue to protect our intellectual property rights.”
The original BFGoodrich Tires All-Terrain T/A KO tire, the predecessor for the current BFGoodrich Tires All-Terrain T/A KO2 product at the center of the litigation, created and defined a new, essential category when it was introduced in 1976. Every tire is stamped with “Baja Champion” on the sidewall, representing its class-winning status in the grueling SCORE Baja 1000. This tire also is consistently ranked at or near the top of its category, based on performance and driver preference. Buyers on tirerack.com, for example, report driving the BFGoodrich Tires All-Terrain T/A KO2 more than 12 million miles and assign a 4.5-star rating (from a maximum 5 stars). This tire has been selected as original equipment for the Ford F-150 Raptor and the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. The tire has been recommended by experts at respected outlets such as Outside magazine, Gear Patrol, Car & Driver magazine, Four-Wheeler magazine and many others.
BFGoodrich Tires is dedicated to providing high performance tires for those who have a passion for driving in virtually any environment. Combining technical expertise with 50 years of motorsports experience, BFGoodrich delivers tires for a full range of driving experiences from ultra-high performance street to off-road terrain with one common theme – extreme performance. Come upgrade your performance with BFGoodrich and see where our tires can take you at www.BFGoodrichTires.com, www.BFGoodrichRacing.com, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @BFGoodrichTires.