On June 14, 2018, Jaguar Land Rover sued Bentley Motors in the rocket docket Federal District Court in Alexandria, Virginia. JLR’s patent, (RE46,828) was reissued by the USPTO in May of 2018 with over 50 claims. The ‘828 Patent provides coverage for a vehicle control system “operable in a plurality of driving modes in each of which it is arranged to select the subsystem configuration modes in a manner suitable for a respective driving surface” in combination with support for various combinations of on and off-road surfaces.
JLR claims to have spent the past two years attempting to deal with Bentley over infringement related to its recently introduced SUV. However, while the Bentayga was just introduced in 2016, JLR’s reputation for “innovative and technologically advanced four-wheel drive Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs)” dates back over seventy years. The JLR’s Terrain Response system is one of those innovations, allowing a driver to “select from a plurality of off-road driving surfaces, such as Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud and Ruts, Sand, and Rocks.” Similarly, JLR alleges the the “Bentayga has been equipped with a so-called Drive Dynamics system that is available with a cost-option called ‘All Terrain Specification’ which provides four off-road settings: ‘Snow, Ice & Wet Grass,’ “Dirt & Gravel,’ ‘Mud & Trail,’ and ‘Sand.'”
The thirty page complaint details JLR’s infringement allegations related to multiple claims, and concludes with a request for a permanent injunction, monetary damages, and attorney’s fees. JLR is represented by Bert Reiser and Clement Naples of Latham & Watkins.