Jaguar Land Rover’s court bid in the United Kingdom to obtain trademark rights for its Defender SUV design has failed.
The shape of the Land Rover Defender is easily recognisable and forms part of the Defender’s history and appeal. So, when Ineos (founded by billionaire Jim Ratcliffe) revealed its forthcoming Grenadier 4x4 SUV a few weeks back, it looked very familiar, featuring a strikingly similar shape and look to the out-going Defender.
As you can imagine, Jaguar Land Rover wasn't pleased with this development and consequently filed a court bid to obtain trademark rights for the shape of its Defender, which would halt the progress of the Grenadier making it to production.
Now, a London court has dismissed JLR’s appeal with the UK Intellectual Property Office finding that the shape/s that Jaguar Land Rover aims to protect is not distinctive enough with the judge commenting that the design "may be unimportant, or may not even register, with average consumers." JLR is understandably disappointed by these findings as the Defender shape is trademarked in other markets. The new Land Rover Defender was recently launched in South Africa.
As for the Ineos Grenadier, it will be powered by BMW’s 6-cylinder engines and promises to be a "capable, durable and reliable 4x4 designed and built to handle the world’s harshest environments." The Ineos Grenadier will be built in the UK and production is due to start in the latter half of 2021.
South Africa is an ideal market for the Grenadier and Ineos is in negotiation with potential importers, so there is a chance that we will see it on local soil. Importantly, pricing is expected to come in at a similar price point to the Toyota Fortuner or Ford Everest which is great news for local consumers.
We will keep you in the loop as this story develops further.