August 30, 2021
In late July, General Motors ("GM") reportedly sued Ford Motor Company ("Ford") in the Northern District of California for trademark infringement on the basis that Ford's "Blue Cruise" cruise control system infringed upon GM's "Super Cruise" cruise control system.
GM's Super Cruise system has been marketed since 2017, whereas Ford began offering its Blue Cruise hands-free driving technology on its F-150 pickup in 2020. Ford is also offering Blue Cruise as a software update on its electric Mustang Mach-E.
Ford has indicated that consumers are very familiar with cruise control and that "cruise" is a common shorthand for such systems. In addition, Ford has noted that the Blue Cruise mark is inspired by its company's iconic "Blue Oval" logo.
Ford is now reportedly petitioning the US Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") to revoke GM's trademarks for the phrases "Super Cruise" and "Cruise", arguing that they should never have been registered in the first place. GM's automated-driving subsidiary based in California that develops self-driving cars is also named "Cruise".
In its filing with the USPTO, Ford has reportedly argued that GM "has nothing more than an aspiration to monopolize the word 'cruise,' removing it from common automotive industry nomenclature".
Author: Jordan Scopa