DETROIT, Aug. 13 (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co (FN) announced Friday evening that it will ask the U.S. Patent Office to revoke trademarks obtained by rival General Motors Co (GM.N) for the terms “Cruise” and “Super Cruise,” escalating a GM brawl began by suing Ford for its use of “Blue Cruise” for an automated driving system.
The legal battle between the two Detroit automakers is over whether “cruise” is an umbrella term for technology that allows the car to take over some of the driving duties of a human motorist.
The clash underlines the intensity of competition between automakers established to be seen as leaders in automated driving technology, competing with rivals Silicon Valley Tesla Inc. (TSLA.O), the Waymo unit of ‘Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and others.
GM filed a federal lawsuit against Ford on July 24, accusing Ford of infringing GM’s trademarks by using the name “Blue Cruise” for a system that enables hands-free driving. Read more
GM previously registered the “Super Cruise” trademark for its hands-free and partially automated driving technology. He also registered the trademark “Cruise”, the name of his robo-taxi unit in San Francisco.
Ford reiterated its position on Friday that GM’s lawsuit is frivolous. The effort to cancel GM’s trademarks for the use of the word “cruise” takes the fight to a new level.
“To defend itself, Ford has no choice but to ask the US Patent and Trademark Office to cancel GM’s two“ Cruise ”and“ Super Cruise ”trademark registrations that should never have been be registered in the first place, ”said Ford. “A lot of companies use the word ‘cruise’ in connection with driver assistance technology. “
Among the examples cited by Ford: “Predictive Cruise”, marketed by Mack Trucks; “Smart Cruise Control” marketed by Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) and Autocruise, used by automotive supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG.
GM said Friday that Super Cruise “has had a well-established commercial presence since 2017” and added in a statement that the company “remains committed to vigorously defending our brands and protecting the fairness that our products and technology have earned over many. years on the market. and that won’t change. “
Reporting by Joe White; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Daniel Wallis
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