Ford Lawyers Up, Takes All Comers in Copyright Wars

Ford dealer and GM dealer logos are shown over notice of lawsuit paperwork.

Far from being discouraged by a recent lawsuit, Ford is now looking to extend its reach far beyond the automotive world. Recently accused by General Motors of usurping the name of its hands-free driving system, the automaker is now boldly infringing on the copyrights of other intellectual property while hiring every lawyer they can find. With a leaked list of popular systems Ford is going to copy now floating around the internet, there’s little doubt the brand is now all-in on its piratical design approach. This could mean some interesting circumstances when you visit a Ford dealer in the near future.

In a move that would cause even the copyright holders of the Olympics and Super Bowl to roll their eyes, General Motors filed a lawsuit in August accusing Ford of trademark infringement and unfair competition over the name it chose for its new driver-assistance technology. Dubbed BlueCruise, GM says the name is obviously inspired by its own Super Cruise driver-assistance features. Ford plans to roll out the hands-free driving tech on the 2021 F-150 and Mustang Mach-E, but GM’s autonomous-taxi startup Cruise allege the moniker could cause confusion in the marketplace.

“Here at General Motors, we think the average customer is very, very stupid. That’s why we’ve filed this lawsuit to protect our unwitting––and often illiterate––consumers who mistake BlueCruise for our Super Cruise technology,” says Kyle Filone, VP of ABCs at GM. “Frankly, we think letting other companies use the word “motor” is already pretty generous of us, but this just goes to show you that if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

The move is part of a new initiative by Ford to integrate new, cutting-edge features into its vehicles without having to perform the costly research and development associated with such breakthroughs. The project, dubbed Definitely Genuine Automotive Features (DGAF), has seen the Big Blue Oval take inspiration from a number of leading brands but also necessitated the hiring of an additional 1,206 lawyers.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm at Ford right now. It sort of feels like if we can take on GM and get away with it, we can take on anyone. Except Amazon, because being allowed to exist on the internet is a big part of our sales approach,” says Doug Tortelli, VP of Public Relations at Ford.

Following up on its successful use of “Cruise,” Ford has been emboldened to aim for some of the heaviest hitters in the corporate world. We’ve listed some of the more obvious homages from Ford’s leaked list below.

Various brand logos are shown on a blue background.

Microsoft: Seeking to differentiate itself in the interior upholstery game, where microsuede and microfiber are all the rage, Ford will rebrand it’s own next-generation coverings as “microsoft.” The name conveys the fabric’s superior comfort, and while it shares a name with a certain tech giant, it’s far less vulnerable to malware.

Pepsi: One forthcoming performance upgrade to some of Ford’s sportier offerings will allow drivers to choose between three enhanced driving modes. These graduated levels of sports tuning will give those seeking a thrill the option to really test the limits of their vehicles by engaging either Pep-A, Pep-B, or the ultra-powerful Pep-C.

Instagram: The automaker has also introduced a new proprietary music streaming service that lets drivers access over 100,000 albums at the touch of a button. With many of the more obvious brand names in the sector already snatched up, Ford decided to go old school in branding the new system. Combining the word “instant” with the antiquated gramophone record player, Ford landed on “Insta-gram” as a way of hinting at the streaming service’s speed.

Starbucks: The company is also looking far into the future of transportation, borrowing a popular name to grace its eventual foray into the stars. With Blue Origin, SpaceX, and other sociopathic billionaires’ pet projects making space tourism easier than ever, Ford wants to introduce a system that will allow customers to accrue points that can be redeemed for their own interplanetary excursions. These “Star Bucks” can be redeemed through an app that, confusingly, will also let customers stop by their local Ford dealership for a cup of free coffee.


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