GM Sues Ford Claiming Trademark Infringement Over Branding Self-Driving Cars

  • The General Motors Company GM on Saturday filed a lawsuit against Ford Motor Company F for violating a trademarked hands-free driving technology name "Blue Cruise," Reuters reports.
  • GM says that Ford's use of the Blue Cruise name infringed on GM's Super Cruise trademark. 
  • According to GM, Ford renamed its Co-Pilot360 automated driving system to Blue Cruise in April. 
  • In a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court Northern District of California, GM said, "If Ford wanted to adopt a new, unique brand, it easily could have done so without using the word 'Cruise'."
  • "Ford's decision to rebrand by using a core mark used by GM and Cruise will inevitably cause confusion," GM also mentions in the lawsuit. 
  • GM has asked the court for an order to prohibit Ford from using the brand name and unspecified damages.
  • In response, Ford has called GM's lawsuit "meritless and frivolous."
  • In an official statement, Ford says, "Drivers for decades have understood what cruise control is, every automaker offers it, and 'cruise' is common shorthand for the capability." 
  • 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 its F-150 pickup. 
  • The company is also offering Blue Cruise as an over-the-air software update on its electric Mustang Mach-E.

Photo: courtesy of General Motors.

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