The Ram Revolution may get dragged in as well.
Electric vehicle maker Bollinger Motors is suing Scottish manufacturer Munro because the company's MK_1 closely resembles the Bollinger B1 SUV and Bollinger B2 Pickup, an inside source told CarBuzz. The source asked to remain anonymous but provided details of the lawsuit via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) website.
Among other issues, Bollinger is going after Munro for breach of contract, patent infringement, and trade dress infringement.
"Former Bollinger contract designer, turned Munro designer, Ross Compton violated his mutual NDA with Bollinger by referring to confidential Bollinger files, with Munro's awareness, while designing Munro products," our source said. "Bollinger owns two patents for its original vehicle designs, and it claims the Munro products stand in violation of those. The likeness between the brands' products could cause confusion in the public eye, inflicting irreparable harm to the brand."
Page 17 of the 24-page lawsuit filing shows images of the MK_1 next to the B1, and we've recreated a similar side-by-side view (pictured below) to show how similar the two vehicles look.
Bollinger first showed off the B1 and B2 back in 2019 but delayed both vehicles in early 2022 to focus on more profitable commercial products. A recent $148 million investment in late 2022 put the two vehicles back on track toward production. Meanwhile, Munro revealed its first vehicle, the MK_1, in late 2022 not long after Bollinger announced it would resume B1 and B2 development. Munro is set to start hand-building vehicles this year before moving into a larger facility in 2024.
"Bollinger's vehicles, including the B1 and B2 depicted above, have a unique and distinctive appearance. For example, unlike most other fully electric vehicles available in the market, Bollinger's vehicle designs feature exposed hardware and hinges, extensive use of flat surfaces, aesthetic chamfered surfaces, flat and parallel body lines, and a distinctive wheel arch shape," the company said in its lawsuit.
"The Bollinger vehicle trade dress is not functional. Bollinger has extensively advertised and promoted vehicles bearing its ornamental and non-functional vehicle trade dress, including the B1 and B2. As a result of time, effort, and money invested in its vehicle trade dress, Bollinger's vehicle trade dress has acquired secondary meaning, significant goodwill, and serves uniquely to identify Bollinger's vehicles."
The lawsuit was filed in the United States Southern District Court of New York on January 31, 2023, so there isn't much more to report on the status of the case. We will report back with any findings.
"Munro is aware of the allegations raised by Bollinger Motors inc. The company takes IP infringement extremely seriously and Munro intends to robustly defend its position over the unique design of the Munro MK_1 all-terrain vehicle," said Munro CEO Russell Peterson.
On a separate note, members of the public and media have noticed a similarity between Bollinger's patented passthrough and the passthrough shown on the Ram Revolution Concept. Bollinger hasn't commented publicly on this matter but could end up challenging Ram for copying this feature on its upcoming EV pickup.
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