Ford and General Motors have one of the longest-running rivalries between any two companies on earth, and the cross-town foes are always looking to one-up each other. The latest example of this comes in the form of a new lawsuit, filed by GM and its self-driving subsidiary Cruise against Ford, which aims to block The Blue Oval from using the name BlueCruise for its forthcoming hands-free highway driving feature, according to Reuters. The issue, it seems, is that GM believes that this term infringes on its trademark of the rival automaker’s own hands-free driving technology, SuperCruise, which was first announced back in 2012.
“While GM had hoped to resolve the trademark infringement matter with Ford amicably, we were left with no choice but to vigorously defend our brands and protect the equity our products and technology earned over several years in the market,” the automaker said in a statement. “Ford knew what it was doing. Ford’s decision to rebrand by using a core mark used by GM and Cruise will inevitably cause confusion.”
GM also noted that it and Ford had engaged in discussions in an attempt to avoid legal action, but those talks apparently failed. Meanwhile, Ford spokesperson Mike Levine called the lawsuit “meritless and frivolous,” arguing that the word “cruise” is widely used by a variety of automakers in a number of ways.
GM’s claim is meritless and frivolous. Drivers for decades have understood what cruise control is and “cruise” is common shorthand for the capability. Any number of companies use the word “cruise” to brand driver assist technology. That’s why BlueCruise was chosen. https://t.co/zxhW1EONG4
— Mike Levine (@mrlevine) July 24, 2021
“GM’s claim is meritless and frivolous,” Levine said. “Drivers for decades have understood what cruise control is and “cruise” is common shorthand for the capability. Any number of companies use the word “cruise” to brand driver-assist technology. That’s why BlueCruise was chosen.”
Ford Authority reported that Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 suite of driver-assist features was getting a new addition, then called Ford Active Drive Assist with Hands-Free Mode, back in June of 2020. Last October, October, Ford Authority reported on how this new feature would work in the 2021 Ford F-150 and 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, and this past April, Ford announced that it would officially be called BlueCruise when it launches later this year, and just last month, the automaker revealed that Lincoln’s version of this hands-free driving tech will be called ActiveGlide.