DETROIT, July 24 (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.N) and its Cruise robo-taxi subsidiary have filed a lawsuit to prevent Ford Motor Co (FN) from using the name “BlueCruise” to market its hand-driving technology free, the companies said on Saturday.
In a statement issued shortly after midnight Detroit time, GM said Ford’s use of the BlueCruise name infringed GM’s Super Cruise brand, as well as the Cruise brand.
“While GM hoped to resolve the trademark infringement case with Ford out of court, we had no choice but to vigorously defend our brands and protect the fairness that our products and technology have earned over many. years in the market, ”GM said in its statement.
In the lawsuit, filed Friday, GM said the automakers had held “extended discussions” on the matter but failed to resolve the dispute.
GM alleges trademark infringement and unfair competition in the lawsuit. The No.1 U.S. automaker has sought a court order barring Ford from using the BlueCruise name and unspecified damages.
Ford called the lawsuit, filed in federal court in California, “baseless and frivolous.”
“For decades, drivers have understood what cruise control is, every automaker has offered it, and the word ‘cruise’ is a common shorthand for this capability,” Ford said in a statement. “This is why BlueCruise was chosen as the name for the next Blue Oval evolution of Ford’s intelligent adaptive cruise control. “
Automakers are racing to deploy technology that allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel in traffic jams or on highways. So-called advanced driver assistance systems, such as Tesla Inc’s semi-automatic autopilot technology (TSLA.O), are not meant to allow drivers to completely disengage from driving for long periods of time. .
Automakers have used the word cruise for decades to describe cruise control systems that allow drivers to set a speed the car will maintain, typically on the highway.
“Ford knew what he was doing,” GM said in the lawsuit. “Ford’s decision to change brands using a base brand used by GM and Cruise will inevitably create confusion. “
GM announced in 2012 that it would use the name Super Cruise for its hands-free driver assistance technology, and has been marketing the technology under that name since 2017.
The Cruise autonomous vehicle unit, majority owned by GM, has been in operation since 2013.
Ford announced that it would use the BlueCruise name for its hands-free driving technology in April of this year. Read more
Reporting by Joe White; additional reporting by Ben Klayman, Editing by Himani Sarkar and Clelia Oziel
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