General Motors is terminating its lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. for using one word: cruise.
The fight began in July when GM sued Ford of copyright infringement, saying Ford’s name for its hands-free driving system, BlueCruise, was too closely similar to GM’s self-driving car subsidiary Cruise and GM’s Super Cruise, its hands-free driving system it is in. introduced in 2012 and introduced in 2017.
On Sunday evening, GM told the Free Press that the lawsuit had been amicably settled, but declined to post final terms. A Ford spokesman said the deal was still pending but made a comment indicating that future use of the word BlueCruise could continue on future Ford cars.
The comments come after attorneys for automakers filed a settlement notice in the Northern District California U.S. District Court on Friday saying the parties are working on terms to reach an agreement. The notice requested parole and the two sides have 60 days to report to the court if they cannot come to an agreement.
On Sunday evening, GM spokesman Darryll Harrison told the Free Press: “The parties have settled the case and related proceedings by mutual agreement and will not comment further.”
Ford spokesman Mike Levine was unable to confirm that all settlement terms were finalized, saying, “We plan to resolve the lawsuit with GM and have no further comments at this time.”
When asked to clarify GM’s statement given that the terms are not fully finalized, Harrison said, “Our records are in place.”
But a hint that Ford will keep using the BlueCruise name as part of the settlement comes in Levine’s comments to the Free Press that Ford will share more news about BlueCruise technology coming to more Ford vehicles at a later date.
“Additionally, we recently announced that BlueCruise will be available for the new Ford Expedition 2022 and it is already available for the Mustang Mach-E and F-150,” said Levine.
Ford announced BlueCruise in April and a lawsuit soon ignited in July when GM filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Ford over the name.
In the complaint, GM said it had “lengthy discussions” with Ford about the name but was unable to come to an agreement. The self-driving GM subsidiary Cruise has been in business since 2013.
In August, Ford filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the term “cruise” was “ubiquitous” for driver assistance features, a term that has been used for 50 years and that associates consumers with many automakers. Levine called GM’s trademark claims were “baseless and frivolous” and Ford applied to the US Patent and Trademark Office for the cancellation of GM’s “Cruise” and “SuperCruise” brands.
On September 10, US District Judge Susan Illston questioned GM’s decision to block Ford’s use of the term BlueCruise during a hearing on GM’s injunction against Ford’s use of BlueCruise.
“I have a feeling that the chances of success in this matter are currently unclear to me. It seems to me that there are validity problems with the idea of using the Cruise name and the Super Cruise brand since it was – I think it is are significant. ” Evidence that it has been used before in a – in a more general setting, and it seems to me that Super Cruise, for example, is far more general or descriptive than anything else and so is Cruise, ”Illston said, according to a transcript of the Hearings.
The judge said there was a lack of evidence of confusion over the word “cruise”.
“I’m not sure about the likelihood of success on this matter and that is the most important thing that would lead me to reject the proposal,” said Illston.
She also noted, “I personally take a jazz cruise every now and then, and the occasional blues cruise,” she said. “I’m just saying that the words you used as your own are used by other people all the time.”
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Contact Jamie L. LaReau at 313-222-2149 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan. Read more on General Motors and sign up for ours Auto newsletter. Become a subscriber.