GM sues Ford over name of hands-free driving technology

General Motors announced it has filed a lawsuit against the Ford Motor Co., alleging the name of Ford’s new hands-free driving technology infringes on GM’s trademark.

The trademark infringement lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California, alleges Ford intentionally gave its hands-free driving technology a name — BlueCruise — that’s similar to GM’s Super Cruise hands-free technology, which was announced in 2012 and arrived on the market in 2017.

The lawsuit states: “Ford knew exactly what it was doing. If Ford wanted to adopt a new, unique, brand, it easily could have done so without using the word ‘Cruise,’ as shown by Ford’s branding for the same automated driving technology in their luxury car models: Ford branded this same enhancement to its automated driving system in luxury models, such as the Lincoln, as the ‘ActiveGlide’ feature.”

GM issued a statement to the Detroit Free Press after the lawsuit was filed.

“Our majority-owned self-driving subsidiary Cruise has been in business since 2013. 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 statement said.

Ford spokesman Mike Levine responded to the lawsuit.

“We think GM Cruise’s claim 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,” Levine wrote in an email to the Free Press.

“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.”

The lawsuit is seeking monetary damages and a court order for Ford to stop using the BlueCruise name.