General Motors and its Cruise robo-taxi subsidiary have filed a lawsuit to prevent Ford Motor from using the BlueCruise name to market its hands-free driving technology, the companies said on Saturday.
In a statement released shortly after midnight Detroit Time, GM said that Ford’s use of the BlueCruise name infringes GM’s Super Cruise brand as well as the Cruise brand.
“While GM was hoping to amicably settle the trademark infringement matter with Ford, we had no choice but to vigorously defend our brands and protect the capital our products and technologies have earned in the market over several years,” said GM in his statement.
In the lawsuit filed on Friday, GM said automakers had “lengthy discussions” over the matter but failed to resolve the dispute.
GM alleges trademark infringement and unfair competition in the lawsuit. The US automaker # 1 has sought an order from the court banning Ford from using the BlueCruise name and unspecified damage.
Ford called the lawsuit filed in California federal court “baseless and frivolous”.
“Drivers have understood what cruise control is for decades, every automaker offers it, and ‘cruise’ is a common abbreviation for capability,” Ford said in a statement. “That’s why BlueCruise was chosen as the name for the next evolution of Ford’s intelligent adaptive cruise control in the Blue Oval.”
Automakers are fighting against each other to use technology that enables drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel in traffic jams or on highways. The so-called Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, such as Tesla’s semi-automatic autopilot technology, should not enable the driver to completely disconnect from driving for a long time.
Automakers have used the word cruise for decades to describe cruise control systems that allow the driver to set a speed that the car would normally maintain when driving on the highway.
“Ford knew what it was doing,” GM said in the lawsuit. “Ford’s decision to use a trademark used by GM and Cruise will inevitably create confusion.”
GM announced in 2012 that it would use the Super Cruise name for its hands-free driver assistance technology and has been marketing the technology under that name since 2017.
The self-driving vehicle unit Cruise, which is majority-owned by GM, has been in operation since 2013.
Ford announced in April of this year that it would use the BlueCruise name for its hands-free driving technology.