Jaguar Land Rover has failed to secure a trademark for the shape of its original Defender, clearing the way for Ineos to continue development of its Grenadier without having to change the vehicle's looks.
Unveiled in July, the Grenadier is a rugged off-roader similar in ethos to the original Defender whose production spanned more than three decades. The two vehicles also share a likeness.
Unfortunately for JLR, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) knocked back a trademark request for the original Defender's shape on the grounds the trademark lacked “distinctiveness,” and now a judge has dismissed JLR's appeal over the UKIPO decision, the Telegraph reported Monday.
2021 Ineos Grenadier
JLR had been attempting to secure the trademark for the original Defender's shape ever since the vehicle ended production. That was back in 2016, or about when Ineos chief Jim Ratcliffe first approached JLR in hopes to acquire the right to continue building the original Defender. He was knocked back so set about building his own off-roader.
Ineos is an oil and chemicals giant whose revenues last year exceeded $61 billion. It's spending $1.3 billion on the Grenadier which is due to enter production in 2021. Ineos had originally planned to handle production at a new plant to be constructed in Bridgend, Wales, but the company is currently in talks with Daimler over the acquisition of the Smart plant in Hambach, France.
JLR meanwhile has just launched a new generation of the Defender for the 2020 model year. It's priced from $50,925 for the four-door Defender 110 model. A two-door Defender 90 has also been announced but won't reach local showrooms until next spring.