Jaguar Land Rover has lost a U.K. court attempt to trademark the shape of the classic Defender.
The Intellectual Property Office had previously ruled that the shape was not distinctive enough to warrant protection, so Land Rover challenged the ruling in the London courts. Now that decision has gone against the British brand as well.
This means that upstart Ineos, whose Grenadier SUV certainly bears more than a passing resemblance to the Defender, is free to begin production unencumbered by legal issues.
Ineos plans to bring its rugged off-roader to market in 2021, while Land Rover’s new Defender has become a more sophisticated and less utilitarian beast, so whether the two will remain rivals on and off the road remains to be seen.