Land Rover loses trademark battle over Defender SUV’s shape

Quick: Think of an SUV. Regardless of which specific model popped into your head, it’s likely a pretty basic two-box shape that sits well off the ground and has short overhangs front and rear. It probably looked a lot like the seminal Land Rover Defender. And as it turns out, that design is so basic that Jaguar Land Rover just lost a court case in the U.K. to trademark the SUV’s shape in an effort to halt the continued development of the recently unveiled Ineos Grenadier.

Ineos Group chairman and well-known British adventurer and billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made no qualms over the fact that the Grenadier is inspired by the old-school Defender, equipped as it is with a full frame underneath its boxy bodywork and solid axles front and rear. In fact, Ratcliffe tried to buy the Defender’s tooling from Land Rover after the automaker abandoned its classic design in favor of a radically updated unibody replacement. When Land Rover declined, he set out to build a suitable replacement, which we now know as the Grenadier.