Jaguar Land Rover has enjoyed notable success in court recently. Last month it finally won a legal ruling in China against Jiangling Motor Holding for its flagrant pinching of the Range Rover Evoque's design in 2014. So brazenly similar was the first gen Landwind X7 that the case would have been open and shut in virtually any other territory - but it is notoriously hard for a western firm to find favour in a Chinese court, making the decision a significant victory for JLR's legal team.
At home though, there seems to have been much tripping over its own shoe laces. JLR's long-running case against Twisted Automobile has more than a whiff of bristling animosity about it. At the centre of the three-year legal battle was Twisted's decision to use the name 'LR Motors' for its Defender-filled showroom in Thirsk - a nod-and-a-wink name if ever there was one, but not, crucially, in direct contravention of an established trademark when it was registered in 2015.
JLR cried foul regardless but in May last year the Intellectual Property Court found in Twisted's favour. Undeterred, JLR appealed the case to the High Court - yet was given short shrift at the resultant hearing, Mrs Justice Rose noting: "The undisputed evidence was that Jaguar Land Rover has never used the initials 'LR' as a sign for its goods in this country." Which sounds like a gavel-banging, 'case closed' decision to us.
Not to JLR though, which took its argument to the Court of Appeal last month, where it was promptly rejected on the basis that it was attempting to re-argue the same case without providing any new factual grounds for doing so. Charles Fawcett, Twisted Automotive's founder and CEO, has subsequently claimed a victory against 'bullying tactics' and frankly it's rather easy to side with 'David' when 'Goliath' - via design boss Gerry McGovern - has previously vowed to put third party modifiers 'out of business'.
No matter where you stand on the arrangement of capital letters in a sign - or, indeed, the work of tuners in general - we're going to go out on a limb and say that the world would be a duller and less interesting place without them in it. JLR may have a dim view of those who take an existing product and 'put a little spoiler on it or whatever' (as McGovern dismissively put it) but Twisted, among many others, has repeatedly proven the business case for doing so by selling its efforts to satisfied customers. Beating them in the marketplace - as the manufacturer has specifically set out to do with SVO - is one thing. Beating them in court, as JLR has found to its cost, is quite another.
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