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Jeep Scores in Legal Spat with Mahindra Jeep Scores in Legal Spat with Mahindra
JEEP TAKES A SMALL WIN AGAINST THE ROXOR Special from Automotive News The legal battle between Jeep and Mahindra won’t stop the Indian automaker... Jeep Scores in Legal Spat with Mahindra

JEEP TAKES A SMALL WIN AGAINST THE ROXOR

Special from Automotive News

The legal battle between Jeep and Mahindra won’t stop the Indian automaker from showing its vehicles at the 2019 Detroit auto show, but the company’s long-term prospects for continuing to sell the Roxor in the U.S. are still in doubt.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles filed a trade complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission in 2018, arguing that the Mahindra Roxor infringes on Jeep “trade dress” — a trademarked image or appearance of a product. The concept of trade dress is considered just below the status of a patent, making enforcement difficult at times for established users of the trade dress, which is also a factor in the case.

Jeep recently won a round in the dispute when the U.S. International Trade Commission determined that the company is not contractually barred from enforcing its trade dress following an agreement with Mahindra years ago. The details of the latest decision are complex: In 2009, Mahindra sought to bring another vehicle called the Scorpio, a midsize SUV, to the U.S.

The Scorpio in India had a seven-slot grille vaguely reminiscent of that of the Jeep Grand Cherokee at the time, and the two automakers agreed on a different design for Mahindra’s SUV if the company introduced the Scorpio in the states. Specifically, the companies agreed that if Mahindra used the agreed-upon grille design on the Scorpio, Chrysler would not pursue any intellectual property claims against Mahindra.

“Chrysler consents to the use and incorporation of the grille design shown in Exhibit A (hereinafter the ‘Approved Grille Design’) in vehicles sold and advertised in the United States by Mahindra and/or its affiliates and authorized dealers,” the agreement stated. “Chrysler agrees and warrants that it will not assert against Mahindra, its affiliates, authorized dealers, or customers, or anyone else, any claim for infringement of Chrysler’s trade dress, trademark, or other intellectual property rights in the United States based on: (1) a grille having the Approved Grille Design; or (2) a vehicle containing or using the Approved Grille Design.”

The Scorpio never came to the U.S. but the agreement between the companies remained in force as a contract, which Mahindra recently used in the U.S. International Trade Commission proceeding. Mahindra’s argument is that FCA should be prevented from filing claims of trade dress and trademark infringement against it because the Roxor has the 4.5-slat grille that’s vaguely similar to what was agreed upon in 2009.

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Thanks to Automotive News.

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  • Byron Deal

    January 14, 2019 #1 Author

    Interesting so two perspectives……if Jeep makes a better product then why are they concerned or is it that Mahindra can sell an inferior product cheaper and Americans care more about cost than quality.

    Reply

  • The Bearded Wonder

    January 14, 2019 #2 Author

    Who Cares? Jeep will be taking a bath soon when they try to sell their new H2 HUT and it flops.
    Why should they care if someone that they gave to OK too sells a smaller, cheaper knockoff ?
    I say sell it, maybe it will keep all the Crybaby Snowflakes from whining about the Wrang-u-lar and keep the Jeep from turning into a POS because SoccerMoms aren’t a cushy as their Volvo.

    Reply

  • Mike

    January 14, 2019 #3 Author

    We have those things at my job and they’re fucking piles of shit. We have not sold one in eight months that we have had them. They are overpriced for what they are. Are not street legal. We’ve got four brand new units that are rusting all over, the hubs are already losing paint and rusting. The 3-cylinder diesel junk it’s slow as can be. Being that we are a dealer we cannot make them street legal for customers. Because that will violate our dealer agreement. For cheaper and a Better you can get a unit from any of the Japanese brands IE Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, or even Canam or Polaris. Man I can believe I said polaris lol. As far as the trademark goes or patent they look remarkably similar to the old CJ. And a lot of parts are actually interchangeable between them. Personally I hope Jeep and FCA win this court case and they take their piles of crap back to India. They tried to get into all of the Motorsports dealers for side by sides promising those dealers that cars are coming and they’ll get first chance at becoming a full-out automotive “car and truck” dealer. So after seeing them up close and personal and working on them I would give them two thumbs down.

    Here are some quotes from Jalopnik:

    “Mahindra engineer Jeff Davis, and he told me that there are a number of interchangeable parts between the Roxor and an old Willys”

    “The Mahindra Roxor is definitely as mechanically Jeep-y as it gets, sharing quite a bit with the CJ-3B of the 1950s and 1960s. It’s got a similar transfer case, similar axles, a similar suspension and essentially the same width. As for the styling, steering setup, and overall length, those don’t quite look what’s on a CJ-3B, but they look almost identical to those of another CJ, the CJ-7.

    And though the transmission and engine are not related to Willys Jeeps, their specs aren’t far from what was offered in some CJ models throughout the years.

    So yes, when it launches, the Mahindra Roxor will be the most authentic “Jeep” you can buy (even though it’s not road legal)—even more so than the Wrangler. And that’s pretty wild if you think about it.”×

    Reply

  • G Lo

    January 18, 2019 #4 Author

    The Roxor is not street legal in the US. It’s basically a side by side atv.

    Reply

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