A courtroom brawl was only a week away.
This all began late last year when Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) accused the Volkswagen Group of copying its patented Terrain Response system found in SUVs like the new Land Rover Defender. The technology is quite advanced in that it makes off-roading relatively easy for inexperienced drivers.
VW Group vehicles, such as the Volkswagen Tiguan, Porsche Cayenne, Lamborghini Urus, and Audi Q5 make use of a similar system that JLR determined was far too similar to its own and has essentially been used without permission.
It threatened its German rival with litigation aiming to ultimately ban importation to the United States of those SUVs and others equipped with it.
The situation had the potential to get messy but now Bloomberg reports a deal has been agreed upon by both sides. Unfortunately, the deal's terms were not made public in court filings made in New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and the International Trade Commission in Washington. It's not unusual for legal matters such as this to take nearly a year to resolve, but the timing is interesting.
In about a week from now, the trial between JLR and VW Group was to get underway. VW's lawyers likely determined a legal fight was not in its best interests.
An industry analyst believes JLR could have possibly won over $200 million a year in licensing income from VW. Spokespeople from both automakers refused to comment. The off-road system's key feature is actually a knob located on an SUV's center console. The knob indicates to drivers when to adjust the vehicle for different terrains. What's interesting is that this is not the first time JLR has sued VW Group over the use of an off-road system without permission.
Back in 2018, JLR sued Bentley, specifically over the Bentayga. Litigation remains ongoing and is not connected to the case filed last year that's since been resolved. A trial, however, could begin next year.