Ford Will Urge the US Patent Office to Rescind GM’s ‘Cruise’ Trademarks
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Most consumers don’t think about the name of their automated driving systems. On the other hand, automakers often trademark their system names to prevent competitors from using them.
Ford thinks that General Motors (GM) has gone too far with trademarking the names of their automated driving technology and self-driving taxis. Ford plans on asking the U.S. Patent Office to drop the trademarks, according to Autoblog.
This might seem drastic, but here are more details about the dispute and Ford’s argument. Ford thinks that GM is going too far with their trademarks.
Ford and GM argue over ‘Cruise’ and ‘Super Cruise’ trademarks
Autoblog reported that General Motors filed a federal suit against Ford on July 24. Ford violated GM’s trademark by naming their automated driving system “Blue Cruise.”
GM has trademarked the names “Cruise” and “Super Cruise.” Cruise is their robo-taxi unit in San Francisco, and Super Cruise is their hands-free, partially automated driving technology.
Ford wants the GM trademarks dropped
Autoblog reported that Ford’s legal defense rests on whether the term “cruise” is too generic to warrant a trademark. Ford points to Mack Truck’s “Predictive Cruise,” Hyundai’s “Smart Cruise Control,” as well as auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG’s “Autocruise” to prove how common the term is.
With that in mind, Ford announced that it will ask the U.S. Patent Office to rescind GM’s “Cruise” and “Super Cruise” trademarks. In its statement, Ford said that the names, “should have never been registered in the first place.” They also expressed that the lawsuit was frivolous.
GM responded by saying that Super Cruise has been well-known since 2017 and they’re defending their brands and the earnings of their products.
Other manufacturers investing in self-driving car technology
These days, many automakers are racing to be the leaders in self-driving car technology. Brands have to compete with Tesla’s Autopilot, which was one of the first autonomous vehicle systems available.
This is tough for any automaker in the swiftly changing market. Startup tech companies are also joining the battle to create new systems that automate driving decisions. Adaptive cruise control, lane-centering technology, and self-parking are becoming common features for most brands.
According to Investor Place, Waymo, owned by Alphabet, is one of GM’s main competitors in the autonomous vehicle market. GM is ramping up self-driving tests and bought Cruise to expand their self-driving sector, but they keep all of this innovation in-house. They’re competing with automakers that buy their tech from Nvidia and other third parties.
The argument over trademarks further emphasizes the heated competition in the autonomous car market.
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