Wed. Dec 8th, 2021

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo is seen on the hood of a new Ford Aspire car during its launch in New Delhi, India, on October 4, 2018. Image taken on October 4, 2018. REUTERS / Anushree Fadnavis

By Joseph White

DETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor (NYSE 🙂 Co. said Friday afternoon that it will ask the U.S. Patent Office to revoke trademarks obtained by rival General Motors Co. (NYSE 🙂 for the terms “Cruise.” and “Super Cruise,” GM’s brawl began suing Ford for its use of “Blue Cruise” for an automated driving system.

The legal struggle between the two Detroit automakers is based on whether “cruise” is a generic term for technology that allows the car to take over some of the driving tasks of a human motorist.

The clash highlights the intensity of competition among established carmakers to be considered leaders in automatic driving technology, competitive with Silicon Valley rivals, Tesla (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc., Alphabet (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc., the Waymo unit and others.

GM filed a federal lawsuit against Ford on July 24, accusing Ford of violating GM trademarks under the name “Blue Cruise” for a hands-free driving system.

GM had previously registered the trademark “Super Cruise” for its partially automated hands-free driving technology. He also has the trademark “Cruise,” the name of his robo-taxi unit in San Francisco.

Ford on Friday reiterated its position that GM’s suit is frivolous. The effort to nullify GM’s trademarks for the use of the word “cruise” takes the fight to a new level.

“To defend itself, Ford has no choice but to ask the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to revoke GM’s” Cruise “and” Super Cruise “trademark registrations that should not have been registered. never in the first place, ”Ford said. “Any number of companies use the word ‘cruise’ in relation to driver assistance technology.”

Examples that Ford cited: “Predictive Cruise,” marketed by Mack Trucks; “Smart Cruise Control” marketed by Hyundai Motor Co. and Autocruise, used by car supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG.

GM said Friday that Super Cruise “has 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 that our products and technology have gained over several years in the market. ” and that will not change. ”

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