Jaguar Land Rover in trademark dispute over Defender model with Jim Ratcliffe's Ineos

Alys Key
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Source: Ineos

Billionaire Jim Ratcliffe is facing a barrier to his plan to build the "son of a Land Rover Defender".

Jaguar Land Rover is planning to trademark the shape and other aspects of the iconic car, in the hope of preventing a copycat model, the Financial Times reported today.

Ratcliffe, owner of chemicals giant Ineos, wants to create a new Defender-like vehicle, to come off the production line in 2020. This came after Jaguar Land Rover terminated production of the model earlier this year.

But JLR reportedly filed five trademark applications in the run-up to discontinuation which protect different forms of the vehicle, from its original incarnation to its final form.

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Ineos has disputed all of them, while Ratcliffe has said he is prepared to buy the intellectual property from the company.

If the filings are accepted, this could prevent Ratcliffe from achieving his goal of reproducing the iconic design, a project which he has claimed he will invest £600m in.

Plans for the production of the car are already in an advanced stage, with Ineos holding talks with manufacturers both inside Britain and in Europe more widely. He has said the process would ideally take place in Britain.

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A spokesperson for Jaguar Land Rover said: "Jaguar Land Rover is aware of Ineos' intent to make a 4x4 but has no details of the plans including the design for the vehicle; we have no objection to competition. We will however, monitor closely any actions in relation to our proprietary rights in Defender and will comment when appropriate."

Ineos has been approached for comment.