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GM sues Ford over BlueCruise hands-free driving aid name

GM and its Cruise subsidiary argued the name infringes on the automaker's Super Cruise trademark.

2021 Ford BlueCruise Hands Free Driving
GM's not happy with Ford's naming strategy.

General Motors slapped cross-town rival Ford with a fresh lawsuit this past weekend, arguing the Blue Oval's new BlueCruise hands-free driving assistant infringes on its own trademarks for Super Cruise and its Cruise subsidiary's business name. GM first announced Super Cruise in 2012 and introduced the technology on the Cadillac CT6 sedan in 2017. Ford announced Blue Cruise earlier this year as a rival, hands-free highway driving technology.

GM released the following statement: "While GM had hoped to resolve the trademark infringement matter with Ford amicably, we were left with no choice but to vigorously defend our brands and protect the equity our products and technology have earned over several years in the market." 

The automaker declined to comment further citing pending litigation.

In a statement, Ford countered GM's arguments. "GM has had zero issue with other 'cruise' names," it said, citing Hyundai's Smart Cruise Control and BMW's Active Cruise Control. 

"We think GM Cruise's claim from is meritless and frivolous. Drivers for decades have understood what cruise control is, every automaker offers it, and 'cruise' is common shorthand for the capability," the automaker added. "That's why BlueCruise was chosen as the name for the Blue Oval's next evolution of Ford's Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, which incorporates hands-free Blue Zones and other advanced cruise-control features."

Reuters, which viewed the litigation documents, quoted this from the lawsuit: "Ford knew what it was doing. Ford's decision to rebrand by using a core mark used by GM and Cruise will inevitably cause confusion."

General Motors ultimately wants to block Ford from using the name. Ford, meanwhile, plans to roll BlueCruise out to the F-150 pickup and Mustang Mach-E electric SUV later this year.