Scottish off-road firm Munro sued over design
A company planning to build the first mass produced car in Scotland for 40 years is facing legal action in the US over claims that it copied a rival manufacturer’s design.
Munro Vehicles launched its electric off-roader in December and has already attracted orders from around the world.
However the company, based in East Kilbride, is being sued by the Michigan-based electric truck manufacturer Bollinger Motors which is designing its own vehicle and has accused Munro of trademark and patent infringement.
It adds that Munro’s designer Ross Compton – who worked with Bollinger from 2015 to 2017 – violated a nondisclosure agreement.
Bollinger filed a lawsuit on 31 January against Munro and Compton at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Bollinger accuses Munro of infringing on two of its patents, both of which cover “an original and unique vehicle design”. Bollinger claims that this will inflict irreparable harm to the brand.
The company also claims that Mr Compton “without permission or authorisation, retained Bollinger intellectual property and other materials . . . and disclosed such materials to Munro in violation of the mutual non-disclosure agreement.”
Munro has said that it will “robustly defend” its position and insisted that its electric vehicle has a “unique design”.
In a statement, Munro chief executive officer Russell Peterson said: “Munro is aware of the allegations raised by Bollinger Motors. The company takes IP infringement extremely seriously and Munro intends to robustly defend its position over the unique design of the Munro MK-1 all-terrain vehicle.”
Munro is the first automotive manufacturer to build cars at scale in Scotland since Peugeot-Talbot closed its Linwood plant in 1981.
Both Bollinger and Munro have developed rugged all-terrain vehicles meant for commercial use. Scotland-based Munro is specifically targeting farmers, miners and those who work in heavy industry sectors.
Munro, which was founded in 2021 by Mr Peterson and Ross Anderson, has said it plans to bring its Munro MK_1 to market by the end of this year.
The vehicle was given its public debut this week at the Low Carbon Agriculture 2023 show at NAEC Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.
The company plans to build 50 vehicles this year before moving to a purpose-built site near Glasgow in 2024.
With the creation of 300 jobs, production will be ramped up to 250 vehicles per year with a strategic roadmap in place to deliver 2,500 units annually by 2027.