Tata JLR moves court against Volkswagen Group over patent tussle
Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission to block imports of Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche, and Volkswagen SUVs over a patent tussle. The company claims the rival brands use its patented 'Terrain Response' technology without permission. This technology helps negotiate a "broad range of surfaces," and is a key feature in F-Pace and Discovery models.
Jaguar is seeking a ban on the imports of Audi's Q8, Q7, Q5, A6 Allroad and e-tron cars, along with Porsche Cayenne, Lamborghini Urus, as well as Volkswagen's Tiguan models. The company claims that several luxury mid-sized SUVs and crossovers will be available to meet consumer demand in the US, even if the aforementioned models are banned.
"JLR seeks to protect itself and its United States operations from companies that have injected infringing products into the US market that incorporate, without any license from JLR, technology developed by JLR and protected by its patent," said Matthew Moore, JLR's lawyer.
Seeking cash compensation for violation of the patented tech, JLR has also filed lawsuits against the companies in federal courts at Delaware and New Jersey. However, these cases are likely to be put on hold once the trade commission starts investigating the case. The case is In the Matter of Certain Vehicle Control Systems, 337-3508, US International Trade Commission (Washington).
The International Trade Commission is a quasi-judicial, independent agency that hears issues pertaining to unfair trade practices such as patent infringement. It can't penalize erring parties but can block products from entering the US. Patent and trade secret owners prefer it to federal district courts, thanks to its speed. Notably, a typical investigation is completed within 18 months.