Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has filed a complaint with the United States Internatonal Trade Commission against the Volkswagen Group in order to block imports of Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi and Volkswagen SUVs, which the British company says are using its patented Terrain Response technology without permission.
The case is named In the Matter of Certain Vehicle Control Systems, 337-3508, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington), and according to the filing sighted by Bloomberg, JLR said that the technology in question helps vehicles ‘negotiate a broad range of surfaces’, and is a key feature in models such as the Jaguar F-Pace and the Land Rover Discovery.
“Jaguar Land Rover seeks to protect itself and its United States operations from companies that have injected infringing products into the US market that incorporate, without any license from JLR, technology developed by JLR and protected by its patent,” said Land Rover’s lawyer Matthew Moore from Latham & Watkins in the filing. A Volkswagen spokesperson declined to comment, Bloomberg noted.
The British automaker wants imports of Volkswagen Group SUVs blocked, adding that there are many other luxury midsize and compact SUVs to meet the demand of the US market if these are banned from the country, the report added.
SUV models within the Volkswagen group, for instance the Bentley Bentayga, features the Drive Dynamics system that JLR says has copied its own Terrain Response, for which Land Rover sued Bentley in 2018 after the Bentayga was introduced.
Bentley sought – without success – to invalidate the Land Rover patents in district court as well as before the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) review board, and a trial for this matter is scheduled for February.
The International Trade Commission is a United States agency that investigates claims on unfair trade practices such as patent infringements, and while it cannot award damage compensation, it can prevent offending products from entering the US.
Jaguar has, however, also filed patent lawsuits in Delaware and New Jersey federal courts seeking cash compensation for the use of its technology, though these lawsuits will likely be put on hold once the trade commission’s investigation is launched, the Bloomberg report said.
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