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Automaker battle over the word ‘Cruise’ ramps up: Ford wants GM’s trademark rights rescinded

Automaker battle over the word 'Cruise' ramps up: Ford wants GM's trademark rights rescinded

FINANCIAL NEWS

Automaker battle over the word ‘Cruise’ ramps up: Ford wants GM’s trademark rights rescinded

Sky-high used car prices finally start to fallA seemingly endless streak of skyrocketing used vehicle prices appears to be coming to a close. No one in the market for a used truck, car or SUV should expect any bargains, though. (July 21)APThe battle over the word “cruise” just got uglier between two Detroit automakers.Less than a month after General Motors sued Ford Motor Co. for trademark infringement over the name of Ford’s new hands-free driving technology called BlueCruise, Ford wants GM’s trademark rights to “Cruise” and “Super Cruise” rescinded, said Ford spokesman Mike Levine.Cruise is the name of GM’s subsidiary developing autonomous cars. Super Cruise is GM’s hands-free technology.On Friday evening, Ford was to file a request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office asking it to rescind both of GM’s “Cruise” and “Super Cruise” trademark registrations.Levine said Ford argues the terms should have never been registered in the first place, so it wants the trademarks rescinded to ensure “that it and the industry as a whole can freely use the word ‘cruise’ to safely describe their driver assist technologies.”GM’s response to the filing was to reiterate much of what it said when it filed the lawsuit. “As the industry’s first true hands-free driver assistance system on the market, GM’s Super Cruise was first announced in 2012 and has had a well established commercial presence since 2017 with approximately 10M miles driven using the technology to date,” said Darryll Harrison, GM spokesman, in a statement. “GM remains committed to vigorously defending our brands and protecting the equity our products and technology have earned over several years in the market and that won’t change. At this time, we have no further comment.”►GM sues Ford: Company claims hands-free technology name is a trademark infringementFord maintains that GM’s trademark infringement lawsuit against it is “meritless and frivolous,” Levine said, adding that the lawsuit left Ford no other choice  but to file the request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.”Drivers for decades have understood what cruise control is, every automaker offers it, and ‘cruise’ is common shorthand for the capability,” Levine said. “Any number of companies use the word ‘cruise’ in connection with driver assist technology.”Ford chose BlueCruise in relation to the Blue Oval’s next evolution of Ford’s Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, which incorporates hands-free “Blue Zones” and other advanced cruise control features, he said.GM filed the trademark infringement lawsuit against Ford July 24 in U.S. District Court in northern California after having several weeks of mediated discussions with Ford trying to reach an agreement on the use of the word “cruise.”GM’s  majority-owned self-driving subsidiary Cruise has been in business since 2013.GM is seeking monetary damages and filed a preliminary injunction asking that Ford be ordered to stop using the name.Ford’s response to GM’s preliminary injunction late Friday argues “cruise” is a common term used across the industry, Levine said, noting that GM has no issue with Predictive Cruise used by Mack Trucks, Robocruise used as RoboCars’ trademark, Hyundai’s Smart Cruise Control and BMW’s Active Cruise Control.►Cars take the exit: Parts shortages force automakers to end Mazda 6, Toyota Avalon in favor of SUVsContact Jamie L. LaReau: 313-222-2149 or jlareau@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan.  


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