Land Rover wins High Court ruling to protect Defender name

Canadian manufacturer must change name of off-road buggy, as JLR makes it clear the Defender isn't for imitation

Land Rover Defender vs Toyota Land Cruiser - Defender front tracking

The High Court of Justice has issued a Consent Decree to settle a dispute between Jaguar Land Rover and a Canadian manufacturer of rugged off-road and snow vehicles – Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP).

The case relates to the use of the name Defender – which in most people’s minds conjures up images of Land Rover’s iconic utilitarian off-roader 

BRP has been found in infringement of copyright, after one of the firm’s vehicles – marketed as a “fun, recreational off-roader” – took on the legendary Land Rover’s namesake.

Reborn Ineos Defender: All the details

The ruling means BRP will abandon its plans for an EU trademark for the Defender name, must remove the badge from any products it sells in the EU, and will pay a small amount in in damages and legal costs to Jaguar Land Rover.

BRP’s now ex-Defender – despite its rugged off-road capability - is by no means an imitation of Land Rover’s original. It takes on the styling of a jacked up golf caddy with a large open cargo area and a lightweight design, making it easy to modify for a number of purposes.

Regarding the ruling, Jaguar Land Rover Legal Director, Keith Benjamin, said: “The success of our business is based on unique design and engineering attributes, and we intend to protect the brand robustly around the world”.

What really makes this ruling important is the precedent it sets for companies like Ineos, which had previously harboured intentions of resurrecting the discontinued Defender on Land Rover’s behalf.

More recently Ineos told Auto Express it could instead create an off-road vehicle from scratch, which would capture the essence of the original Defender rather than replicate it. 

Still, the ruling is a major shot across the bow of anyone toying with the idea giving new life to the old Land Rover workhorse. Land Rover is being particularly protective of the Defender’s legacy, given an all-new version is expected to emerge in 2018. 

Read everything we know about the all-new Land Rover Discovery here.

Recommended

Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition
Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition - front
Land Rover Defender

Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition

Just 220 examples will be built to honour past Camel Trophy Land Rovers, all of which have been reserved for the North American market
30 Jul 2021
New Bowler Defender Challenge review
Bowler Defender Challenge - front
Land Rover Defender

New Bowler Defender Challenge review

The new Defender Challenge is the first Bowler under JLR ownership, and it’s a cracker
28 Jul 2021
Rally-prepped Bowler Defender Challenge car unveiled
Bowler Defender Challenge - front
Land Rover Defender

Rally-prepped Bowler Defender Challenge car unveiled

Bowler reveals competition-spec Land Rover Defender, built to compete in one-make rally series
27 Jul 2021
New Land Rover Defender V8 2021 review
Land Rover Defender V8 - front
Land Rover Defender

New Land Rover Defender V8 2021 review

The new rapid Land Rover Defender V8 flagship dishes up a supercharged soundtrack
20 Jul 2021

Most Popular

Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition
Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition - front
Land Rover Defender

Land Rover unveils limited-run Defender Trophy Edition

Just 220 examples will be built to honour past Camel Trophy Land Rovers, all of which have been reserved for the North American market
30 Jul 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover
Volkswagen Taigo R-Line - front
Volkswagen Taigo

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover

The new VW Taigo is a sportier, more aggressive looking version of the brand’s T-Cross and is aimed at lifestyle buyers
29 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021