Mills & Reeve advises Jaguar Land Rover on successful trade mark battle

We have advised premium car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover on a successful trade mark battle relating to the iconic Land Rover Defender.

On 14 December 2016 the High Court gave an important ruling in favour of Jaguar Land Rover in the trade mark infringement claim against Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), part of the Canadian multinational Bombardier. 

Jaguar Land Rover had originally issued infringement proceedings in June 2016 after BRP began to sell its range of “Defender” badged off-road vehicles in the EU in an obvious conflict with the Land Rover Defender. 

BRP responded strongly, challenging the validity of Jaguar Land Rover’s trademarks and alleging bad faith. However, the judge found for Jaguar Land Rover, and BRP was ordered to remove the “Defender” branding from all products and marketing materials in the EU. 

Keith Benjamin, Global Legal Director at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We welcome this ruling, recognising the enforceability of our intellectual property rights and preventing use by third parties. The Land Rover Defender is an iconic vehicle that is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s past, present and future. The success of our business is based on unique design and engineering attributes, and we intend to protect the brand robustly around the world.” 

Claire O'Brien, Head of IP Litigation at Mills & Reeve, added: “We were delighted to assist Jaguar Land Rover in such a crucial case, which is one of the first intellectual property cases to be issued in the shorter trials scheme, a pilot scheme designed to bring about the speedy resolution of business disputes.” 

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