A US appeals court has ruled that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (or FCA) has a valid argument in a trademark case filed against information technology by the standards body behind Bluetooth. The disputed instance could stop up setting a precedent for whether automakers can buy radios that are already certified for Bluetooth or whether they will also have to pay the Bluetooth Special Interest Grouping (SIG) to certify.
carsalso, adding costs at a time when car prices are already exploding.
The Bluetooth SIG sued the automaker – at present known as Stellantis afterwards FCA merged with Peugeot – in 2022. At the time, it said FCA was improperly using its brand on cars similar the Jeep Wrangler and the Dodge Grand Caravan, which Bluetooth SIG hadn’t certified. The appeals court’southward decision means the case is sent back to the lower court, which volition now have to hear the automaker’southward argument. Yous can read this determination at the bottom of this article.
The FCA’s defense, which was initially rejected past this lower court, is that Bluetooth SIG is trying to double downward by saying that the car stereo and the car itself must get through certification. Its basis is the so-called commencement-sale doctrine – a concept that seeks to enable the resale of copyrighted works. In this case, FCA says that applies because it buys its infotainment systems from companies like Alpine, Harmon and Panasonic, which have already paid fees and certified their products for Bluetooth. Why should he re-certify what has already been certified just considering he put those products in a dashboard?
Bluetooth SIG thinks it should. In its complaint (PDF), the group argues that FCA was trying to become “a free ride” by putting the Bluetooth make in cars and advertisements “without paying the required product declaration fee” or having its cars certified . The group’south argument doesn’t appear to be that the automaker is tarnishing its brand with a bad experience — its complaint doesn’t mention compatibility bug at all. Basically, the group is unhappy that the automaker says its cars have Bluetooth just because it bought a Bluetooth-certified radio.
The recent appellate courtroom conclusion indicates that the lower courtroom erred in rejecting the FCA’south statement that the starting time-sale doctrine applies. As
points out, this does not hateful the case is settled, it merely means the FCA tin can render to court and plead again. While the appeals courtroom ruling may set a precedent for hereafter cases, information technology is not nevertheless a settled result. FCA could nonetheless lose the case, and if it does, it could serve as a green low-cal for Bluetooth SIG to sue other automakers.
We have seen the first sale doctrine announced in other cases. This was hinted at when StockX began selling NFTs containing images of Nike shoes, claiming the digital tokens were substantially substitutes for the physical sneakers information technology had previously purchased. This came back when Nike sued MSCHF for trademark infringement when he collaborated with Lil Was X to sell Nike sneakers he had modified into Satan shoes (which were made with human blood). MSCHF and Nike eventually settled earlier there were arguments in courtroom over whether the first-auction doctrine allowed it to sell a set of shoes bearing the Nike logo, and the lawsuit StockX is nonetheless going.
Of grade, this isn’t express to cases involving Nike – there accept also been arguments almost information technology in relation to online thrift stores and the sale of 2nd-hand books and DVDs.
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