Jaguar Land Rover Wants to Stop Imports of Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi and VW SUVs
Photo credit: Land Rover / Lamborghini
From Road & Track
Jaguar Land Rover has filed a lawsuit with the US Trade Commission and federal courts in Delaware and New Jersey to prevent the Volkswagen Group from importing a large number of its crossovers and SUVs into the US as part of a software dispute.
The filing reported by Bloomberg Quint alleges that Lamborghini, Volkswagen and Audi products infringe a JLR patent protecting the Terrain Response off-road system. The patent encompasses vehicle systems that configure an automobile for safer and more controlled off-road operation, including "mud" or "sand" modes that adapt the operation of the vehicle to different conditions. According to JLR, many models of the VW group - including the Porsche Cayenne, the Audi E-tron, the Audi A6 Allroad, the Audi Q7, the Lamborghini Urus, the Volkswagen Atlas and others - infringe this patent with their drive systems.
So the British automaker has submitted to the US International Trade Commission. The Commission cannot award damages or fines the accused brands, but it can stop the import of non-compliant products into the US. The ITC also tends to move faster than federal courts, with Bloomberg noting that such investigations typically complete in 15 to 18 months. Still, JLR has also filed federal lawsuits in the New Jersey and Delaware District Courts for damages.
Interestingly, Bentley is not involved in any of these actions. In part, this may be because, as Jaguar states in its claim, Bentley contested Jaguar's patent twice in 2014 and 2019. (Both attempts were unsuccessful.) Bentley is still including off-road driving modes in the Bentayga, but follows these disputes The brand appears to have found a way to implement off-road modes without violating JLR's patent. Numerous non-VW group brands also offer configurable off-road driving modes in their pickups, SUVs and crossovers and have not yet been sued by JLR.
Apparently, other automakers have found a way to offer off-road modes without violating the JLR, which claims to be the first automaker to offer such a system. However, JLR believes that the Volkswagen Group has knowingly infringed its patent and notes that the defendants were informed of the alleged infringement back in 2018. It is likely that the parties will come to an agreement at some point, but in the meantime, there is a possibility that vehicles like the Lamborghini Urus and the Audi A6 Allroad have been temporarily held up.
Jaguar Land Rover and Volkswagen USA representatives noted that their respective companies did not comment on ongoing litigation. Lamborghini declined to comment. Audi did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter. This post will be updated whenever we hear something.
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