Land Rover loses bid to trademark Defender shape

Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 1:15 pm

Land Rover bosses have lost a legal bid to register the shape of the Land Rover Defender as a trademark.

The company had tried to protect the shape of the Defender 90 and 110 but despite many people viewing the boxy design as iconic, a trademark official said the shapes lacked “distinctiveness”.

Jaguar Land Rover appealed the ruling but a High Court judge dismissed the appeal this week saying that the company had failed to prove any error on the official’s part.

The ruling removes a potential obstacle for the upcoming Ineos Grenadier.

The Ineos Grenadier (Photo: Ineos Automotive)

The 4x4 from Ineos Automotive bears a close resemblance to the last-generation Defender and was inspired by Ineos boss Jim Ratcliffe’s desire to build a utilitarian off-roader that followed the Defender’s basic principles.

Ineos, which unveiled its Land Rover lookalike in July had opposed Jaguar Land Rover’s attempts to trademark the Defender’s shape.

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In her written ruling against Jaguar Land Rover on Monday, Judge Melissa Clarke said that it had failed to show that the the official had made a “material error” or was “clearly wrong”.

A Land Rover spokesman told the Telegraph: “The Land Rover Defender is an iconic vehicle which is part of Land Rover’s past, present and future,” the company said. “Its unique shape is instantly recognizable and signifies the Land Rover brand around the world.”