You wouldn’t know they were Jags and Lambos, to judge by the rather dry name: In the matter of certain vehicle control systems.
But that’s the complaint Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc Filed Thursday to block U.S. imports of Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi and Volkswagen sport utility vehicles that allegedly use patented Terrain Response technology without permission.
Jaguar Land Rover, a British owned India car maker Tata Motors Ltd., said in its filing with the US International Trade Commission that the technology helps tackle a “wide range of surfaces” and is a key feature in Jaguar’s F-Pace and Land Rover Discovery vehicles.
“JLR tries to protect itself and its rights United States Operations by companies that have introduced infringing products into the US market that contain technology developed and patented by JLR without a license from JLR, ”Jaguar attorney Matthew Moore said in the filing.
Volkswagen representatives did not immediately respond to emails asking for comments on the complaint.
Jaguar wants to block imports of Cayenne from Porsche; Lamborghinis Urus; Audi Allroad and E-Tron vehicles Q8, Q7, Q5, A6; and the Tiguan vehicles from VW. It is said that there will be many other luxury mid-range SUVs and compact crossover vehicles to meet consumer demand when the SUVs are banned from the US.
Still, the premium lines from Porsche and Audi offer a large part of the profit that VW uses to finance its funds Investments in technology for electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles and other innovations.
In addition to the four brands Volkswagen Group owns other upscale nameplates, including Bentley and Bugatti.
The International Trade Commission is an independent, court-like agency that investigates complaints about unfair trade practices such as patent infringement. It cannot provide compensation, but it can prevent products from reaching the United States. Holders of patents and trade secrets like this one because it can work faster than the federal district courts – typical investigation is completed in 15 to 18 months.
However, Jaguar also filed patent lawsuits against the companies in federal courts in Delaware and New Jersey to seek cash compensation for using the technology. These cases are likely to be put on hold once the Trade Commission opens its investigation.
The case is In the Matter of Certain Vehicle Control Systems, 337-3508, US International Trade Commission (Washington).