It was over a year ago when Jaguar Land Rover accuses the Volkswagen Group of using its patented off-road technology. The Tata-owned company wanted a sales ban for the German group's SUVs, which include the Porsche Cayenne, Lamborghini Urus, VW Tiguan, and several Audi models like the brand’s best-selling Q5.
This week, JLR and VW came up with a settlement according to Automotive News, though details of the settlement are yet to be made public at this point. The settlement apparently came just in time as JLR was about to begin a trial a week after.
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Bloomberg, however, noted that JLR can potentially earn up to $200 million a year in licensing because of the alleged patent infringement.
To recall, JLR is accusing the VW Group of using the former's patented Terrain Response system that adjusts several vehicle settings at a press of a button (or twist of a knob). The system allows drivers to select a drive mode – Sand, Rock, Crawl, or Mud – that then optimises the braking, engine, and gearbox parameters for that surface, boosting off-road performance.
This system is, of course, equipped in several Land Rover models, as well as the Jaguar F-Pace. JLR wanted the VW Group to stop selling its cars equipped with something similar as this is "Land Rover’s feature and Land Rover’s only."
This isn't the first time that JLR fires a patent row on the VW Group. Land Rover filed a lawsuit against Bentley in 2018 for a similar issue with its upscale Bentayga. Bentley hasn't settled that case yet, so a trial is expected to happen in February.
A spokesperson from the VW Group declined to comment about the settlement, while JLR's spokesperson didn't provide any immediate statement.