Ford and General Motors have told a federal judge they plan to settle a trademark battle over the term “Cruise” to describe hands-free driving. Lawyers for the automakers said they were working on the terms of the settlement and asked the court for a conditional dismissalthe. Both parties will report within 60 days if they cannot reach an agreement.
Ford announced BlueCruise as the name of its hands-free driver assistance feature in April. The legal skirmish began in July, when GM filed a trademark infringement lawsuit claiming the BlueCruise name was too close to its autonomous vehicle subsidiary Cruise, as well as Super Cruise, the name of GM’s hands-free driving technology. introduced in 2017. GM said in its complaint that the two companies had been involved in “protracted discussions” over the name but failed to come to an agreement. GM said it introduced Super Cruise in 2012 and its autonomous driving subsidiary Cruise has been in business since 2013.
In August, Ford filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the term “cruise” had been “in ubiquitous use” for 50 years to refer to driver assistance functions, a term consumers do not associate with to none an automobile manufacturer. A Ford spokesperson called GM’s trademark claims “unfounded and frivolous,” adding that Ford had filed a petition with the US Patent and Trademark Office to have GM’s “Cruise” trademarks canceled and “SuperCruise”.