Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Files Complaint Against Mahindra for Infringement

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Mahindra has a long history of building jeeps under license from Willys since the 1940s. FCA filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission that could prevent Mahindra's vehicle from entering the market.

The Fiat Chrysler group filed the complaint on August 1 at the U.S. International Trade Commission, claiming that the Mahindra Roxor infringes key characteristics of Jeep's signature trade dress - namely the "boxy body shape with flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body ending at about the same height as the hood". The complaint pointed out the Mahindra Roxor is a almost identical copy of the iconic Jeep design. It also states that that Roxor is "modelled after the original Willys Jeep".

In its complaint, Fiat Chrysler had voiced its concern that the Roxor imports threaten the company with substantial injury as they are underselling Jeeps. "Our actions, products, and product distribution (including ROXOR) both honour the legacy of the relationship and the terms of our agreements with FCA", the automaker said.

Mahindra's association with Jeep goes back more than 50 years when the Indian entrepreneurs licensed the Jeep CJs to build and sell across India.

MANA, or Mahindra Automotive North America, wants to make it very clear that the new ROXOR vehicle they are offering the North American market is for off-road use only.

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The ROXOR features a ladder-frame construction, metal body panels, 16-inch wheels and a four-cylinder engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission - quite a serious upgrade from the typical plastic-bodied side-by-side ATVs.

"We understand that a complaint has been filed by FCA with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) against M&M". And none of those contracts at any time granted Mahindra India (or any other Mahindra entity) ownership rights over Jeep brand-related intellectual property.

Many were surprised when Mahindra launched the Roxor in the American market.

Mahindra plans to invest about US$600 million (RM2.4 billion) in November for its Roxor manufacturing facility.

"The Roxor is going to start a new journey for Mahindra in the U.S., establishing our reputation of offering tough, durable and rugged off-road vehicles, just like what we have accomplished with our tractors being sold here".

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