Ford Motor Co. is challenging Geely Holding Group's U.S. trademark application for its new Lynk & CO brand, alleging the name sounds too similar to its Lincoln Motor Co. luxury brand.
The automaker was granted an extension this month by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to formally oppose the trademark. It has until Nov. 15 to file its opposition.
"The Lincoln brand has a rich 100-year history and we intend to protect its reputation," a Lincoln spokesman wrote Automotive News in an email. "Lynk & CO is infringing on the Lincoln ... trademark and we are taking legal actions to prevent them from using their infringing mark. Their name as it stands will confuse customers."
A Lynk & CO spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Zhejiang Geely will control 50 percent of Lynk & CO. The remaining 50 percent will be divided between the Geely Automobile and Volvo brands.
Lynk & CO is planning to produce a number of vehicles, including a 01 crossover and 03 sedan. Initially, Lynk & CO models will be made in Luqiao, China, which is the same plant Volvo will use to make the XC40 for the local market.
Alain Visser, the brand's boss, referred to Lynk & CO's models as being premium cars "with Volvo technology."
Ford sold the Volvo brand to Geely in 2010.
Richard Truett contributed to this report.