JLR Loses Defender Trademark Bid In UK Court Battle
The decision will allow Ineos Grenadier off-roader to take shape without any issues.
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has lost a UK court bid to get the trademark rights for the shape of its Defender SUV. This is the second time the firm has faced a setback in this case and this time, it looks like there are no more options for JLR to pursue.
For four years JLR had been pursuing cases to trademark the Defender’s name and exterior design and was locked in battle against chemicals firm Ineos’ owner billionaire Jim Ratcliffe who is set to build the Grenadier off-roader.
The Tata Motors-owned firm first lost in court in 2019 and had lodged a High Court appeal that has now ended, leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of JLR head staff.
On Monday, a London court dismissed an appeal by JLR, and the judge upheld the findings by the UK Intellectual Property Office which stated that the shapes that the automaker sought to get protected weren’t distinctive enough.
The office also said that while differences in design may appear significant to some specialists, they “may be unimportant, or may not even register with average consumers” and this was also upheld by the judge who heard the JLR Defender trademark case.
Predictably, JLR was disappointed with the ruling. “The Land Rover Defender is an iconic vehicle which is part of Land Rover’s past, present and future,” the company stated and added, “Its unique shape is instantly recognisable and signifies the Land Rover brand around the world.”
Ineos too came up with a statement, saying, “The shape of the Defender does not serve as a badge of origin for JLR’s goods. We continue with our launch plans and are excited to bring the Grenadier to market in 2021.”
Having been given the go ahead to launch his off-roader project, Ratcliffe, is now looking at where to produce it. Rumours are that his eyes are set firmly at Daimler’s factory at Hambach in France, that is up for sale.