Jaguar Land Rover Loses Trademark Battle Over The Original Defender In The UK
Jaguar Land Rover has lost a court battle in the UK to get the trademark rights for the shape of the original Defender, allowing Ineos Group to go ahead and launch the Grenadier off-roader.
The UK Intellectual Property Office found that the shapes Jaguar Land Rover wished to get trademarked weren’t distinctive enough, with a London court dismissing the carmaker’s latest appeal.
Ineos Automotive has acknowledged the Land Rover Defender as the inspiration for the Grenadier, a go-anywhere 4×4 based on a new ladder-frame chassis and suspension designed by Magna Steyr and using BMW-sourced engines.
The judge supported the findings of the UK’s IP Office, which said that while differences in design may appear significant to some specialists, they “may be unimportant, or may not even register, with average consumers”, as reported by Bloomberg.
Jaguar Land Rover said in a statement that they are disappointed by the ruling and that the original Defender’s shape has been trademarked in several other markets. Ineos is owned by billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, one of the most prominent backers of the UK’s exit from the European Union.
Ineos was supposed to build the Grenadier in a new factory in Wales, UK and establish another facility in Portugal for the production of the body and chassis. However, the company has suspended those plans and is currently in talks with Daimler over buying the Smart factory in Hambach, France.
If a deal is reached, Ineos would scrap its previous plans and use the French factory as its sole manufacturing base.