Jaguar Land Rover seeks to block U.S. imports of Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini, VW SUVs
You wouldn't know they were Jags and Lambos, to judge by the rather dry name: In the matter of certain vehicle control systems.
However, this is the complaint that Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc filed Thursday to block U.S. imports of Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi and Volkswagen sport utility vehicles that are alleged to have their patented Terrain Response technology without Use permission.
Jaguar Land Rover, a British automaker from India's Tata Motors Ltd., said in its filing with the US International Trade Commission that the technology helps negotiate a "wide range of surfaces" and is a key feature in Jaguar's F-Pace and Land Rover is discovery vehicles.
"JLR is committed to protecting itself and its US operations from companies that have introduced infringing products into the US market that contain technology developed by JLR and protected by its patent, without a license from JLR," said Jaguar attorney Matthew Moore in the filing.
Volkswagen representatives did not immediately respond to emails asking for comments on the complaint.
Jaguar wants to block imports of Porsche Cayenne; Lamborghinis Urus; Audi Allroad and E-Tron vehicles Q8, Q7, Q5, A6; and the Tiguan vehicles from VW. It is said there are many other luxury mid-range SUVs and compact crossover vehicles to meet consumer demand when the SUVs are banned from the US.
Still, the premium lines from Porsche and Audi offer a large part of the profit VW uses to finance its investments in technology for electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles and other innovations.
In addition to the four brands, the Volkswagen Group has other high-quality nameplates, including Bentley and Bugatti.
The International Trade Commission is an independent, court-like agency that investigates complaints about unfair trade practices such as patent infringement. It cannot provide compensation, but it can prevent products from reaching the United States. Holders of patents and trade secrets like this one because it can operate faster than the federal district courts - typical investigation is completed in 15 to 18 months.
However, Jaguar also filed patent lawsuits against the companies in federal courts in Delaware and New Jersey to seek cash compensation for using the technology. These cases are likely to be put on hold once the Trade Commission opens its investigation.
The case is In the Matter of Certain Vehicle Control Systems, 337-3508, US International Trade Commission (Washington).
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