Updated: In counterpoint to a recent Italian court's ruling prohibiting sale of Great Wall Motors' (GWM) GWPeri in Europe, a Chinese court has found Fiat's patent claim against the company to be without merit. Undeterred, Fiat is now weighing its options to continue prosecuting the matter.

The Chinese court's decision said that GWM had established noticeable differences from the Fiat Panda, and that entitles the company to build the car unmolested. Fiat was also ordered to pay $1,291 in legal fees, reports Automotive News Europe. Fiat still has three weeks left to appeal the decision, and a spokes man says it "is currently evaluating a number of options on how to proceed."

Original: The Chinese clone cars aren't faring well of late, with the Shuanghuan CEO getting booted out of Germany and now the Great Wall Motors GWPeri minicar receiving a Europe-wide ban from a Turin court. The news is no doubt welcomed by the major manufacturers that have been prosecuting the copy-cat designs for several years, but it's also a setback for the nascent Chinese car industry's effort to break into the European market.

Great Wall's ban comes alongside a 15,000 fine for the one GWPeri, a Fiat Panda clone, that has been imported into Europe so far. Any further importations would be penalized with a 50,000 fine - per car, reports Automotive News Europe. The ruling of the Turin court held that the GWPeri was so similar to the Panda - only a minor difference in the front end - that it would be in violation of Fiat's intellectual property rights to the Panda design if it were offered for sale in Europe.

As is usual with such cases, an appeal is planned.

For more background on the German ban of the Shuanghuan CEO, a copy of BMW's X5, and other Chinese clone cases, read our previous coverage.