Jaguar Land Rover has lost an attempt to trademark the shape of its old Defender. Tycoon Jim Ratcliffe plans to resurrect the Defender under a new name, Grenadier.
Initially, Britain’s richest man tried to buy manufacturing equipment for the Defender from Jaguar Land Rover, but was rejected.
Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover then sought to trademark six variants, from the original 1948 model to the 2016 edition.
But the Intellectual Property Office has now decided that the Defender’s shape was not different enough from that of other 4×4 models for a trademark to be justified.
JLR is fighting the verdict in the High Court. The company said:
“The Defender is an iconic vehicle which is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s past, present and future.
“Its unique shape is recognised around the world, with the heritage shape being protected in other key markets.”
Billionaire Ratcliffe has long admired the Defender. He has vowed to pour in £650 million (N305 billion) to create a new “reliable” Defender.
Ratcliffe said the project would generate up to 10,000 jobs, including 1,000 in the facility itself.
Originally called the Land Rover 90 or 110, the SUV became the Defender in 1990 to distinguish it from the Discovery.
Jaguar Land Rover stopped building the Defender in 2016 after 67 years, saying it did not meet environmental and safety standards.
Britain’s biggest car-maker has launched a new Defender that takes inspiration from the old vehicle. The 2020 Defender is currently being manufactured in Slovakia.
When the idea to resurrect the defender under a new name first surfaced in 2016, JLR said,
“Defender will always be instantly recognisable as a Land Rover the world over. The Defender remains a key part of our current future product strategy.”
“We will monitor closely any actions in relation to our proprietary rights in Defender and will comment when appropriate.”
Billionaire Ratcliffe’s firm plans to roll out the Grenadier SUV by 2021. Maybe the Queen will get one for herself because she is a fan of the Land Rover (Pics below )
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Back in April 2019, Jaguar Land Rover also lost a trademark dispute case against Twisted Automotive.
Jaguar Land Rover claimed in the Court of Appeal for England and Wales that Twisted’s use of the name ‘LR Motors’ for its showroom is too similar to its abbreviation, JLR.
Twisted, which specialises in modifying and upgrading Defender 4x4s, counterclaimed that the ‘LR Motors’ name had been registered as a trademark back in 2015. Twisted said Jaguar Land Rover has never used the ‘LR’ tag as an official trading name.
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