Court of Appeal throws out legal action by JLR; Twisted boss calls it a victory against "bullying tactics"
2 April 2019

Jaguar Land Rover has lost a trademark dispute case against Twisted Automotive, a Yorkshire-based firm specialising in modifying and upgrading Defender 4x4s. 

The car maker claimed in the Court of Appeal for England and Wales that Twisted’s use of the name ‘LR Motors’ for its showroom in Thirsk, North Yorkshire is too similar to the firm’s common abbreviation, JLR.

Twisted counterclaimed that the 'LR Motors' name had been registered as a trademark back in 2015, while Jaguar Land Rover has never used the ‘LR’ tag as an official trading name. 

The judge leading the case, Mrs Justice Rose, wrote after the hearing: “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 an use of ‘LR’ prior to the application for registration in support of its application”.

Following the court's decision, Twisted founder Charles Fawcett claimed he had won a victory against "bullying tactics".

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Twisted was established in 2001 as a business offering for the Defender, Discovery and Range Rover. Soon after establishing as a full-time operation in 2008, the firm elected to focus solely on the Defender, capitalising further when the 4x4 went out of production in 2016 by buying up examples and restoring and upgrading them in-house. 

Land Rover’s design boss Gerry McGovern has previously been outspoken about third party styling and tuning firms, vowing in 2017 to “put them out of business” via Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations.

“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,” McGovern told Autocar in an interview. 

Read more:

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New Land Rover Defender spotted testing at the Nurburgring

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Comments
21

2 April 2019
If it annoys McGovern, I'm pleased.

Twisted are clearly on to something that he and JLR are completely incapable of comprehending, but Mercedes fully understands.

2 April 2019

Having spent part of my commute behind a Discovery 5 this morning - a car whose slabby sides and wonky rear end actually make me feel ever so slightly sick for some reason - I think that Mr McGovern's comment about styling companies making a bit of profit by modifying his designs misses the point that some of his designs leave plenty of room for improvement.

2 April 2019

Having spent part of my commute behind a Discovery 5 this morning - a car whose slabby sides and wonky rear end actually make me feel ever so slightly sick for some reason - I think that Mr McGovern's comment about styling companies making a bit of profit by modifying his designs misses the point that some of his designs leave plenty of room for improvement.

2 April 2019

I'm pleased for Twisted.  JLR should be building bonds with such companies, not taking them to court, for crying out loud!  A couple of years ago, they threatened Jim Ratcliffe's Ineos over the boxy design of their forthcoming Grenadier!!!  Like the Jeep and Jimny don't exist!  JLR doesn't seem to be able to get anything right.  If you're reading this, Jim Ratcliffe, why don't you just buy it from Tata and fire all the management staff?

2 April 2019
Bazzer wrote:

I'm pleased for Twisted.  JLR should be building bonds with such companies, not taking them to court, for crying out loud!

Indeed, rather like a couple of German car manufacturers did with AMG and Alpina.

2 April 2019

McGovern, the design genius behind the people-carrier barge that is the Discovery, has form for attempting to put a company "out of business". His own. His next hugely expensive trick: the new 'Defender'.

2 April 2019
McGovern's pronouncements leave a bad taste

Surely JLR should be pleased that people are interested enough in their products to spend extra on personalisation and modification.

They should be worried if there were no such interest in their products.

Like the man nearly said: Modding is the sincerest form of flattery.

2 April 2019

Jeep also seem to encourage this sort of thing, expecting most owners to modify their Wranglers. They sell a number of Mopar parts, but fully expect most to go to the aftermarket, or tuning companies. Looks like JLR not only missed a trick in not updating the Defender as Jeep did the Wrangler, but also not supporting the trade that encourages an extra interest in their products

2 April 2019

What is JLR doing? Why should you do this to companies like twisted? JLR needs to keep all the Land Rover enthusiasm alive and build bonds with these companies, so they can work together in the future.

What good would it have done them anyway? If they wanted to use the LR acronym they could have done it without any fuss, and no-one would have mistook it for Twisted. It makes no impact on their marketing whatsoever. As it is now, they won't be able to use it.

For crying out loud, I would be the first one to stand up for JLR, but this is where they have gone wrong.

2 April 2019

A good outcome, and one in the eye for the supremely arrogant McGovern.

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