Yorkshire-based Land Rover specialist Twisted Automotive has successfully defended a trademark dispute with Jaguar Land Rover.
Twisted, based in Thirsk, has been modifying Land Rover vehicles for almost 20 years. The business originally worked on the whole Land Rover range, but switched to concentrate on Defender models from 2009. It builds around 60 Defenders a year, from new base vehicles ordered from Land Rover before the end of Defender production. Customers can also take their own vehicles for upgrades.
The dispute centred on Twisted’s showroom, which it calls “LR Motors”. Jaguar Land Rover contended that this is too similar to the brand’s own initials of “JLR”. However Twisted argued that it had registered this trademark in 2015, and Jaguar Land Rover had never used the “LR” abbreviation as a trading name or trademark.
Mrs Justice Rose of The Court of Appeal threw out the case, commenting:
The undisputed evidence was that Jaguar Land Rover has never used the initials “LR” as a sign for its goods in this country. Jaguar stated at the hearing that it was not putting forward any use of “LR” prior to the application for registration in support of its application.
Twisted’s founder, Charles Fawcett, described the result as a victory against bullying tactics. Although Jaguar Land Rover did not comment directly on the case, Land Rover’s design director Gerry McGovern has previously been scathing in description of aftermarket and third-party Land Rover tuners, claiming that the company’s in-house Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) service would put them out of business.