What’s In a Name? A Major Legal Tussle Ends as GM and Ford Settle Suit Over 'BlueCruise'

General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co have ostensibly ended a legal battle over Ford's use of the name ‘BlueCruise’ to market the company’s hands-free driving technology.
BlueCruise Settlement GM and Ford 6 photos
Photo: Ford Motor Company
GM's Super Cruise systemGM's Super Cruise systemGM's Super Cruise systemGM's Super Cruise systemGM's Super Cruise system
The giant automakers put down the gloves in a fight over the name and said they are now in talks to settle “all claims and counterclaims at issue" over the name, and a judge agreed with the combatants and allowed them to dismiss the suit - but only on condition that the automakers can come to terms for a settlement within the next 60 days.

According to Ford, the settlement has not been finalized but they added that for the time being they will "continue to use the BlueCruise name - as we do today - for F-150 and Mustang Mach-E and next for the 2022 Expedition."

For their part, GM says the automakers "have resolved the case and related proceedings amicably. At this time, we have no further comment."

Back in July of this year, GM - on behalf of their ‘Cruise’ subsidiary - filed a lawsuit to stop Ford from using the name BlueCruise. GM said then that despite "protracted discussions" about who would be able to use the name, they had failed to resolve the issue. GM uses the name in regard to their robo-taxi project.

"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 originally said as part of their lawsuit.

Back in 2012, GM said it would use the name ‘Super Cruise’ for a hands-free driver assistance technology and began marketing the technology using that moniker in 2017.

When the dispute began, Ford said the lawsuit was “meritless and frivolous" and added that drivers have understood the meaning of cruise control and that “every automaker offers it, and 'cruise' is common shorthand for the capability."

And indeed, automakers have used the word ‘cruise’ since the first such systems appeared which allowed drivers to set a speed a car would maintain until a driver intervened for highway driving.

Ford announced it would use the name BlueCruise for its hands-free driving technology in April this year.
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