2 April 2019Trademarks

Jaguar Land Rover re-appeal breaks down before hearing

Jaguar Land Rover has lost a trademark appeal against Yorkshire-based company Twisted Automotive.

Twisted Automotive sells customised second-hand Defenders, a model that Land Rover stopped producing in 2016.

On March 21, the English Court of Appeal refused Jaguar Land Rover’s application for a second appeal, dismissing it as “an attempt to re-argue” the same case which previously failed before the English High Court.

The trademark in dispute was ‘LR Motors’, which Twisted registered in 2015. Jaguar Land Rover, which is often referred to as JLR, said the trademark would lead consumers to believe Twisted was in some way connected with Land Rover.

But the Court of Appeal said Land Rover’s proposition that “everyone realises the initials LR in LR Motors refer to Land Rover” was “simply an assertion with no evidence to support it”.

It said that Land Rover had “not even attempted” to establish a compelling reason to hear the appeal and that there was no principle of law in dispute.

Charles Fawcett, managing director of Twisted Automotive said the ruling was a victory for the company as “the little guy against an industry giant”.

“I very much see it as a small victory for the whole automotive aftermarket industry as well as for Twisted Automotive. Sometimes it’s just about being right, being confident you are right and sticking to your guns. A big budget isn’t necessarily what it takes,” he said.

“The work of our team over the last two decades has helped boost the profile and demand for the Defender, even now more than three years after JLR stopped making it,” he added.

Last week,  a Beijing court ruled in favour of Land Rover against a Chinese company selling a copycat version of the Range Rover Evoque model.

The court ruled that  Jiangling Motor Corporation had infringed LandRover’s trademarks and copied five unique features of the Evoque model.

In its announcement of the victory, Jaguar Land Rover said it was the “first such case” to support a foreign company in the car industry.

Land Rover has declined to comment on its Twisted Automotive.

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More on this story

25 March 2019   British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover has won a landmark case against a Chinese company selling a copycat version of the Range Rover Evoque model.
8 October 2019   The UK Intellectual Property Office has mostly refused car maker Jaguar Land Rover’s attempts to register six trademarks consisting of 3D shapes of Land Rover models.
6 August 2020   The English High Court has blocked Jaguar Land Rover from registering the shape of its Defender 4x4 as a trademark, clearing the way for chemicals company Ineos to launch its own competing vehicle.