Yokohama settles legal action versus Hangzhou

May 27, 2008

Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) and its parent company, Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd., have reached a settlement agreement with Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd. pertaining to design patent infringement.

Hangzhou has agreed "to destroy the manufacturing molds and remaining inventory of its Westlake H280 tires," according to Yokohama officials.

In September 2006, YTC and its parent company initiated legal proceedings against Hangzhou alleging, among other claims, "a violation of Yokohama's tire tread design patent which protects some of its best-selling brands, including the Geolandar A/T+II."

The settlement stipulates the following:

* that Hangzhou destroys manufacturing molds of the Westlake H280 tires and provides Yokohama with an affidavit confirming the destruction and a clear photo of the destroyed molds.

* that Hangzhou stops all shipments and sales of Westlake H280 tires worldwide and destroys any remaining inventory of the tire.

The settlement also stipulates that Hangzhou pay Yokohama an unspecified cash settlement.