Disputes between two electric vehicle (EV) companies alleging patent infringement and breach of contract will likely get to court shortly.
Claiming breach of contract, patent infringement, and trade dress infringement, electric vehicle company Bollinger Motors filed suit this week in the U.S. District of Southern New York versus Munro Vehicles and its lead designer.
The case centers on the Bollinger B1 SUV and B2 truck, the Munro MK 1 SUV, and Ross Compton, a former Bollinger contract designer who is now the chief designer for Munro. According to the complaint, Bollinger claims that Compton broke his contract and violated a mutual nondisclosure agreement by using proprietary Bollinger data to create Munro goods without Bollinger's knowledge.
Furthermore, Bollinger claims that Munro has violated two of its patents for unique vehicle designs and trade dress infringement. This occurs when a consumer is confused between two companies due to the similar appearance of their goods. Bollinger says this will destroy their reputation.
Who Are Bollinger Motors & Munro Vehicles?
Bollinger and Munro have built commercial-grade ATVs that are tough enough to withstand the worst terrain. Munro, founded in Scotland, is advertising only to people in the agricultural, mining, and manufacturing industries. The firm, co-founded in 2021 by Peterson and Ross Anderson, has announced that the Munro MK 1 would be released to the public in 2024.
Munro CEO Russell Peterson wrote a statement addressing the claims made by Bollinger Motors Inc.
Founded in 2015 by automotive industry veteran Robert Bollinger, Bollinger Motors is situated in Michigan and produces all-electric commercial vehicles in classes 3 through 6. Initially, Bollinger would manufacture off-road electric SUVs and pickup trucks, such as the B1 and B2. Later, it unveiled a chassis built specifically for class 3 commercial vehicles to attract a wider range of customers.
Next Steps & Impact on Funding
As of January 2022, Bollinger ceased work on their cars' B1 and B2 models. Mullen Automotive, an electric vehicle (EV) startup that went public via a combination with a special-purpose acquisition company acquired a 60% share in Bollinger nine months later. The deal brought in $148.1 million, which the young company desperately needed.
At the time, the businesses stated the investment would allow Bollinger to continue its consumer truck program and accelerate the development of its class commercial electric trucks, including a class 4 vehicle anticipated for 2023. Production of the B4 is delayed until early 2024.
These additional funds have been effective. Robert Bollinger claims that manufacturing the B1 and B2 consumer trucks will resume at some point in the future and that the firm will announce this. Bollinger has B4 prototypes that are ready to go, and they are launching pilot programs this summer.
Robert Bollinger is still the company's chief executive officer (CEO), and Bollinger has its board of directors. When questioned about the case, Robert Bollinger noted that the firm still owns the IP portfolio and is responsible for defending it; thus, Mullen isn't included as a defendant.
Featured image: Bollinger Motors
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