It’s all down to the ‘double-chevron’ vs ‘north-star’ logo dispute.
Citroën’s classic double-chevron is a French icon, chosen by André Citroën to represent the chevron-shaped gear teeth he designed for gears and car gearboxes. Originated in 1919, the century old logo has been through various adjustments over the years, but the iconic double-chevron has never been displaced.
Although a rather simple symbol of two curved lines, it’s to no surprise that the French carmaker would take badly to any attempts mimicking the logo.
Unfortunately for Sino-Swedish marque, Polestar, they have found themselves in a bit of a predicament, after Citroën’s lawyers took the Volvo sub-brand to court in July of 2019, stating that “the Company Polestar Performance has damaged its reputation of the French brands [trademarked] 3422762 and 3841054 from Automobiles Citroen”.
Designed around the idea of one of the earth’s pole stars, the bilateral marque’s logo takes the form of a similar ‘double-chevron’ shape, except has one ‘chevron’ flipped and the entire scene rotated 45-degrees.
Despite Polestar’s denial, the Groupe PSA owned French automaker has clearly found too many similarities between Polestar’s logo and their own Citroën and DS logos – and after a year in dispute, the Parisian court has finally arrived at a conclusion.
The court acknowledged that the chances of mistaking a Polestar for a Citroën and vice-versa are rather slim, however they also recognised that Citroën’s trademark dates back to the early days of car manufacturing, and that the company’s chevron-based DS logo was trademarked a decade before Polestar’s redesign.
Concusively, the court decided to issue Polestar with a €150,000 (~$250,000 AUD) fine for damages, as well as a ban on the sales of Polestar cars in France for a minimum period of six months.
Volvo had been reportedly planning to launch the Polestar brand in France early 2021, however a spokesperson for the marque told Autoblog that “Polestar does not operate in France, and we currently have no plans to operate in France”. It’s clear that the Swedes are not too fond of the court’s decision, but they likely won’t be losing out on any sales during the ban – unless it’s extended.
Polestar’s French website has also been regulated, currently displaying “access to the Polestar site is not accessible to the French public due to territorial restrictions on the use of French trademarks n°016898173 and n°01689532. If you need any assistance, we can be reached at: +800-707 088 22.”