The US supplier Bollinger sees a clone of its models in the Scottish Munro e-SUV. A patent infringement lawsuit has now been filed in New York.
When the Scottish electric car start-up Munro from Glasgow presented its electric SUV Mark 1 at the beginning of December 2022, the alarm bells rang at electric car manufacturer Bollinger in the USA. With their off-roader, the Scots really rely on the same angular design as Bollinger intended for its B1 and B2 models.
Two brands - one designer
Now Bollinger Motors has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the Scots in a court in New York. Although Bollinger has put the plans for the production of the two models on hold, they still see their design protection violated. The visual relationship can be coincidental, but it doesn't have to be.
The lawsuit explicitly names the designer Ross Compton, who developed the angular look for the B1 and B2 models on behalf of Bollinger. Compton is also responsible for the look of the Mark 1 as Munro's current design chief. Compton is accused of violating a 2015 non-disclosure agreement with Bollinger. He retained intellectual property and other materials from the Michigan-based manufacturer without permission or authorization and disclosed those materials to Munro in violation of the mutual non-disclosure agreement. Bollinger also accused Compton of taking screenshots of CAD models and sharing them on social media "for self-promotion purposes."
In the lawsuit, Bollinger is seeking damages in an amount yet to be determined. In addition, Munro should be banned from selling the Mark 1.
Bollinger and Munro rely on a functional, boxy design with many smooth surfaces and external hinges for their electric off-road vehicles. The old Land Rover Defender already wore this look in a similar form. Jaguar/Land Rover also sued Ineos at the time because the Grenadier was too similar to the Defender.
The Scottish electric SUV Munro Mark 1 actually looks very similar to the Bollinger models B1 and B2. You obviously have the same designer. On the other hand, both are electric workhorses that prioritize function over design. The really not unique box shape arises almost by itself. It will be interesting to see how the New York judges see it.