Apparently, Porsche and others are using Land Rover's off-roading tech without permission.
In the automotive industry, some patents relate purely to protecting the name of a particular vehicle, while others like Rivian's new detachable battery go deeper and relate to pieces of technology that could potentially give them a big edge on the competition.
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) patented its off-road Terrain Response system some time ago, and the automaker is now accusing Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen, and Lamborghini of using the same tech without having obtained permission. In fact, according to Bloomberg, JLR wants to block imports of the offending vehicles in North America.
Over two years ago, JLR sued Bentley for the same thing. JLR's latest complaint was filed on Thursday with the US International Trade Commission. The Terrain Response system is currently used in SUVs like the Land Rover Defender.
With Land Rover's position as a class-leading off-road brand, it obviously believes that this technology being copied is not only a legal infringement but erodes one of the unique selling points of its vehicles.
Matthew Moore, a lawyer representing Jaguar, said in a statement: "JLR seeks to protect itself and its United States operations from companies that have injected infringing products into the US market that incorporate, without any license from JLR, technology developed by JLR and protected by its patent."
The International Trade Commission is unable to award damages but it can block imports if it believes there is reason to do so. A full investigation of a patent infringement like this one could last up to 18 months.
Jaguar has also filed lawsuits against the aforementioned automakers in federal courts based in New Jersey and Delaware, where it is pursuing cash compensation for the use of the Terrain Response technology.
Notably, all the vehicles named fall under the Volkswagen Group, but VW has yet to respond to the allegations. It remains to be seen how this one will play out, but we'll be sure to update you when the accused automakers respond to JLR.