The British car manufacturer initiated legal action in the High Court against BRP- a Canadian manufacturer of rugged off-road and snow vehicles. It was alleged that BRP was using the name of its popular- off roader named Defender. The proceedings were in relation to an all-terrain vehicle designed by BPR, which was branded Defender and was described as a “fun, recreational off-roader”. After almost 70 years, production of the Defender came to an end a year ago, however is expected that as early as next year Land Rover is set to launch a revamped version of its iconic vehicle.
BRP has been found to have infringed JLR’s trade mark and The High Court has now issued a Consent Order ruling that BRP has infringed the Defender trade mark.
Following the ruling. BRP will not continue with its current EU trade mark application for the term Defender. Further BRP has assured that it will not seek registration of Defender within the EU and nor for similar marks such as Defender Max or Defender Pro. BRP cannot use the term Defender on any goods and must now remove the term from all goods- this includes promotional material in the EU- this includes any promotional material for example brochures and web pages. BRP will also pay damages and legal costs.
JLR has welcomed the decision and said that it confirms that it would “protect its brand resolutely”, and that it would pursue legal action wherever necessary. Keith Benjamin JLR’s legal director commented “we welcome this ruling, recognising the enforceability of our intellectual property rights and preventing use by third parties”. He added “the success of our business is based on unique design and engineering attributes, and we intend to protect the brand robustly around the world”.