Renault wins right to name car Zoe

A judge in Paris has ruled that Renault can call its new electric car Zoe, following a legal challenge over the use of the popular name.

The parents of two young girls named Zoe Renault had argued in court that their children could end up enduring a lifetime of teasing and annoyance.

The families, who are not related to the car company, wanted Renault to change the name of the model, which is planned for release in 2012.

But in a fast-track proceeding, a judge ruled against the families, saying the parents would only have a case it they could prove that naming the car Zoe would cause the children "certain, direct and current harm".

Lawyer David Koubbi took on the case because his stepdaughter is called Zoe.

He said: "There's a line between living things and inanimate objects and that line is defined by the first name."

"We're telling Renault one very simple thing: first names are for humans."

Mr Koubbi said he would appeal against the decision.

He insisted that while the Zoe Renaults of the world would be most affected by the release of the car, all of France's estimated 35,000 Zoes would feel the sting.

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