Otto Sued for Trademark Infringement
Otto made headlines earlier this month when it was reported that the self-driving trucking startup had been acquired by Uber. The acquisition, which reportedly came with a price of $680 million, seemed to indicate that big things could be coming for the trucking industry soon as far as autonomous vehicles and decentralized freight transport options. But a road block has put a halt to these possibilities (at least for now) as Clearpath Robotics filed a suit against Otto.
“Otto” is also the name used by Clearpath Robotics self-driving warehouse robots. Their lawsuit stems from fear that Otto’s use of the term could cause confusion as many may assume the two companies are affiliated. The Canadian company has good reason to feel that this may be a problem. They’ve already received inquiries from the press concerning “Otto self-driving trucks,” with one request even coming from Sirius XM’s trucking channel. Even their own customers have inquired as to whether or not the self-driving truck technology is something that Clearpath is developing.
The company filed a trademark application for the name in September 2015. It also filed a similar application in the US this past February. Ottomoto had also filed a claim for the name “Otto,” although they did so a month after Clearpath. Neither side has made an official commented on the dispute as of yet.
The possibility of self-driving vehicles could lead to big change within the trucking industry. This is especially true when one considers the impact that Uber has had on the taxi industry. Time will tell how this case will unfold, but it is unlikely it will have a major impact on Otto as a business venture.