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China firm stakes claim to MG logo

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China's Nanjing Automobile Corporation (NAC) has launched a legal battle to secure its claim over one of the most iconic logos in British motoring.

All rights to the MG trademarks and logos were acquired by NAC when it took over the failed MG Rover in 2005, a lawyer for the firm told the High Court.

It is now looking to stop a Worcestershire-based automotive company from using the octagonal logo on its MG X POWER supercar.

Iain Purvis QC told judge Sir William Blackburne that NAC had put in a great deal of effort to revive the MG brand in the UK. It had restarted production at the Longbridge plant and is planning to launch a new car next year.

He argued MG Sports and Racing Europe, based in Tenbury Wells, was breaching trademark laws by planning to use identical signs on its vehicles.

"The defendants have made and are threatening to continue to make and sell cars using the mark 'MG', the distinctive octagonal MG logo and the mark 'MG X POWER'," he said.

The Worcestershire company is said to have claimed that it bought the rights to the mark from liquidators of the MG Rover Group in 2007.

But Mr Purvis insisted: "Not only had all the relevant rights been sold to NAC in 2005, they were explicitly excluded from the sale to the defendants in 2007."

© Press Association 2009