Ford and GM working toward settlement over the term ‘Cruise’ for hands-free driving

    An autonomous Cruise vehicle in San Francisco | Photo by Andrej Sokolow/picture alliance via Getty Images

    Ford and General Motors told a federal judge they’re planning to settle a trademark battle over the term “Cruise” to describe hands-free driving. Attorneys for the automakers said they’re working out the terms of the settlement and asked the court for a conditional dismissal. The two sides will report back within 60 days if they’re unable to come to an agreement.

    Ford announced BlueCruise as the name for its hands-free driver assist feature in April. The legal skirmish began in July, when GM filed a trademark infringement lawsuit claiming that the name BlueCruise was too close to its autonomous vehicle subsidiary Cruise, as well as Super Cruise, the name of the hands-free driving tech GM introduced in 2017. GM said in its complaint that the two the companies had been involved in “protracted discussions” over the name but were unable to come to agreement. GM said it introduced Super Cruise in 2012, and its Cruise self-driving subsidiary has been in business since 2013.

    In August, Ford filed a motion to have the suit dismissed, arguing that the term “cruise” had been been in “ubiquitous use” for 50 years as a term for driver-assist features, a term that consumers don’t associate with any one carmaker. A Ford spokesperson called GM’s trademark claims “meritless and frivolous,” adding that Ford had petitioned the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking to have GM’s trademarks of “Cruise” and “SuperCruise” rescinded.

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