- General Motors sued Ford for trademark infringement over its “BlueCruise” self-driving tech.
- “Ford knew exactly what it was doing” when it used a brand name similar to GM’s “Cruise,” GM said.
- Ford said the term “cruise control” has been widely used for decades, Reuters reported.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
General Motors on Friday filed a lawsuit against Ford over the branding of its “BlueCruise” hands-free driving tech.
Ford’s April announcement of its BlueCruise tech amounted to a “brazen attempt” to co-opt GM’s branding, the complaint said. GM said the name infringed on the trademark of its subsidiary, Cruise, and its self-driving vehicle software, Super Cruise, launched in 2017.
“Ford knew exactly what it was doing,” the complaint said. “If Ford wanted to adopt a new, unique, brand, it easily could have done so without using the word ‘Cruise,’ as shown by Ford’s branding for the same automated driving technology in their luxury car models.”
In some models, Ford’s hands-free features were branded as “ActiveGlide.”
GM in its lawsuit – filed in US District Court in the Northern District of California – accused Ford of trademark infringement and unfair competition. GM sought damages and an order that would permanently stop Ford from using the branding.
In a statement, Ford said the branding was an extension of the cruise-control features that vehicle manufacturers have long used, Reuters reported.
“Drivers for decades have understood what cruise control is, every automaker offers it, and ‘cruise’ is common shorthand for the capability,” the company said.
The lawsuit detailed a “protracted” exchange between the two companies following Ford’s April announcement. During those talks, the companies “agreed to multiple standstill agreements,” but were unable to come to a solution, GM said.
“Cruise and GM do not file this lawsuit lightly,” the complaint said.
Insider has reached out to Ford for comment.