What Happened: In the latest development in the trademark infringement dispute between the two automakers, Ford said that it will ask the U.S. Patent Office to rescind trademarks obtained by rival GM for the terms “Cruise” and “Super Cruise,” Reuters reports.
Last month, GM filed a federal lawsuit against Ford for violating a trademarked hands-free driving technology name “Blue Cruise.” The company said Ford’s Blue Cruise name infringed on GM’s Super Cruise trademark.
GM had previously trademarked “Super Cruise” for its hands-free, partially automated, driving technology. The company has also trademarked “Cruise,” the name of its Robo-taxi unit in San Francisco.
In a statement, Ford said, “To defend itself, Ford has no choice but to ask the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to rescind both of GM’s “Cruise” and “Super Cruise” trademark registrations that should have never been registered in the first place.”
Ford said many companies are using the word ‘cruise’ in connection with driver-assist technology. To name a few, it mentioned “Predictive Cruise,” marketed by Mack Trucks; “Smart Cruise Control,” sold by Hyundai Motor Co (OTC: HYMTF), and Autocruise, used by auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG.
In response to Ford, GM said on 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 equity our products and technology have earned over several years in the market and that won’t change.”
Why It Matters: There has been stiff competition among established automakers in the automated driving technology field. The clash between Ford and GM shows the intensity of the competition.
In 2012, GM announced plans to use the name Super Cruise for its hands-free driver assistance technology. It has been marketing the technology using the brand name since 2017.
GM’s Cruise self-driving vehicle unit has been operating since 2013.
In 2020, Ford started offering its Blue Cruise hands-free driving technology on F-150 pickup.
The company is also offering Blue Cruise as an over-the-air software update on its electric Mustang Mach-E.
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