EXCLUSIVE: Will Harley-Davidson's Made-In-India Motorcycle Lose The X440 Name?
By Amaan Ahmed
3 mins read
Published on September 13, 2023
- Ultraviolette Automotive has formally opposed the granting of the X440 name trademark to Hero MotoCorp; notice issued early in September.
- EV start-up had applied for the ‘X44’ name trademark in September 2022, while Hero applied for the ‘X440’ name in November 2022.
- If the ruling isn’t in its favour, Hero MotoCorp may be forced to rename the made-in-India Harley.
Having gotten off to a flying start since its launch in July, the Harley-Davidson X440 now finds itself at the centre of a clash between its maker and one of India’s most promising electric two-wheeler start-ups. The reason for the confrontation relates to the motorcycle’s name, which EV start-up Ultraviolette Automotive believes overlaps with one of its own trademarks. carandbike has learned from sources aware of the matter that Ultraviolette has lodged formal opposition with the patents office against Hero MotoCorp using the X440 name for the made-in-India Harley.
The Harley's name is a nod to its 440 cc, single-cylinder engine.
As per the national filings portal, Ultraviolette, which currently only retails the F77 electric motorcycle, had filed a trademark for the ‘X44’ name in September 2022, with the trademark now ‘Accepted & Advertised’. It was roughly two months later, in November, that Hero MotoCorp applied for the X440 name trademark, which it eventually ended up using for the product it co-developed with the American motorcycling giant and launched in July this year. The 440 in the Harley’s name is a nod to its 440 cc, single-cylinder engine. Ultraviolette is yet to make public its plans for the X44 name, but it is learned to have issued a notice of opposition to Hero MotoCorp early in September, which the latter is expected to respond to within 60 days.
The X440 trademark's status is now ‘opposed’ on the national filings portal.
It is understood that Ultraviolette hopes to use the X44 for an upcoming model, and is seeking for Hero MotoCorp to be denied the right to the X440 name, which is similar, if not identical, to its own trademarked name. If Ultraviolette succeeds in its endeavours, Hero may be forced to rename the most affordable Harley on sale in the country. This would be an unexpected and unsavoury hitch in the motorcycle’s rather encouraging journey so far, with the X440 having racked up more than 25,000 orders in a matter of weeks since its launch.
Ultraviolette could choose to use the X44 name for an upcoming, more accessible electric motorcycle.
carandbike has reached out to both Ultraviolette Automotive as well as Hero MotoCorp seeking comment on the matter, but emails sent to both manufacturers remain unanswered at this time. This story will be updated with their response as soon as we receive it.
If it is forced into changing the name of the Harley, this would not be the first time Hero MotoCorp would have to adapt to circumvent a controversy relating to the naming of its products. India’s largest two-wheeler maker, which is spearheaded by Pawan Munjal, opted to go with the ‘Vida’ name for its electric two-wheeler sub-brand after facing opposition over the use of the ‘Hero’ name from Hero Electric, which is owned and run by the Vijay Munjal family.
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