With an influx of new utility 4×4’s entering the market or very close too Tata owned Jaguar Land Rover made a bid to protect their original Defender design.
This is the latest in a long history of legal cases Jaguar Land Rover have brought on companies building similar or adding styling too the Iconic Defender.
There is no doubting the outline of the vehicle as instantly recognisable to us that love, live and work on them. But the recent case against Ineos for their Grenadier sets a bit of a land mark ruling. In the case the judge dismissed Jaguar Land Rovers attempts to trademark the iconic shape ruling that it was not distinctive enough.
There is no denying the striking similarities in the shape from any angle. Even down to the alpine windows. The distinctive front grille and headlights settings all feel familiar. A tactic in part to woo the Land Rover Defender loyal customers to their brand.
It’s not the first time Land Rover have got a little hot under the collar. The nearest example I can recall was only put to bed in April 2019 and had been a long running saga in which Jaguar Land Rovers design boss Gerry McGovern had been famously flamboyant about putting after market companies who styled the Defender “out of business” via Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations. He is reported as having said
“It’s easy to take a product that’s already been created and put a little spoiler on it or whatever, but I’d like to see them design their own car. We see them taking our property and make a bit more profit,” Gerry McGovern
This case followed into a name dispute with Twisted in North Yorkshire. A company famous for styling defenders. In this instance Jaguar Land Rover took issue with the companies use of the LR Motors name claiming it was too close to their own JLR. This case was put to bed in April last year after it was shown the Jaguar Land Rover have never actually used the JLR initials as a brand.
Whatever your background you have to feel some pity for Land Rover. They created an iconic and amazing vehicle that has a cult following many other would be jealous off. However, they stopped production in 2016 with too many regulations impacting the new car market and set about developing a new Defender.
The new Defender launched early in 2020 and received a bit of a mixed reception. Whilst there are nods to the Defender with the Puma style bonnet that is really about as far as it goes. The new Defender is more alike in stature and shape to the Freelander or new Discovery series vehicles leaving the door wide open for the competition to slide with something more like a Defender.
The rulings all point to one thing. There is going to be plenty of competition scrambling to produce something that appeals to lovers of Defenders.
Bespoke in the future
It will be interesting to see if any of the young pretenders entering the market from the Ineos to the Toyota Hilux over the next 40+ years manage to build a cult following and manage to create a host of specialist businesses dedicated to customising and rebuilding their vehicles.
For now we at AB 4×4’s we are dedicated to restoring bespoke Series and Defender vehicles. We carry a wide range of galvanised parts for all types of Land Rover vehicles.
We have a large number of vehicles for sale. Whether you are wanting to being your own build journey or have something to drive away please take a look at our stock or get in touch with Anthony.