| 14.3°C Dublin

Girls lose battle over Renault's Zoe name

A judge has ruled that Renault can call its new electric car Zoe, much to the chagrin of some French women and girls with that name.

Parents of two children aged two and eight named Zoe Renault had argued in court that their children could end up enduring a lifetime of teasing.

The families, who are not related to the car company, wanted Renault to choose another name for the model.

"There's a line between living things and inanimate objects and that line is defined by the first name," lawyer David Koubbi. "We're telling Renault one very simple thing: first names are for humans."

But a judge in Paris ruled against Mr Koubbi's clients saying the parents would only have a case it they could prove that the children would suffer "certain, direct and current harm".

Mr Koubbi said he would appeal against the decision.

He insisted that while it's clear the Zoe Renaults of the world would be most affected by the release of the car -- planned for 2012 -- all of France's estimated 35,000 Zoes would feel the sting.