Following an order in June, which prohibited Mahindra from importing the Roxor and its components to the USA, a regular has passed a new judgement. A U.S. regular passed a rule on Wednesday stating that Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd’s latest design of the Roxor utility vehicle did not infringe the intellectual property rights of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Jeep brand. The new order comes six months after the court barred Mahindra from selling the older models in the U.S. market.
The International Trade Commission (ITC) said that the facelift model of the Roxor, which came out earlier this year did not violate the “trade dress” of Fiat Chrysler Auto’s Wrangler SUV. Mahindra launched the facelift version of the Roxor after accepting an administrative law judge’s recommendation that design changes made by Mahindra meant an early cease-and-desist order and it will not apply on the new models.
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FCA said in a statement,
“The ruling validates Mahindra’s redesign of the highly popular Roxor off-road vehicle,” Mahindra said in a statement. “Mahindra is now permitted to manufacture and distribute the redesigned 2021 Roxor. While FCA is disappointed with the commission’s decision regarding the redesign, we believe we will be successful in appealing this decision,”
The “Trade Dress” consists of the unique characteristic that makes the product different or stand out from the others. It is generally accepted as identified with that product by the public. In FCA and Mahindra’s case, the Wrangler body shape and front grille with round headlamps are distinct to the brand. Copying it makes it “Trade Dress” infringement.
Back in June 2010, the ITC ruled against Mahindra. It said that Mahindra infringed on intellectual property rights of FCA’s 2019-model Jeep SUVs and barred the sale of vehicles in question. The ITC also issued a limited exclusion order prohibiting the sale or import of the vehicles and parts, as well as a cease and desist order was sent to Mahindra and its North American plant in Detroit.
Mahindra had announced that it will refresh the model and change the design to avoid the case. However, the commission did not decide at that time whether the new model and the following versions of the Roxor infringed Jeep’s trade dress.
The Mahindra Roxor is sold as an ATV in the U.S. market and it is priced at a fraction of the cost of the Wrangler. After ditching the 7-slat grille on the original Roxor, Mahindra adopted a new mesh grille design with round headlamps. It gets powered by a 2.5-litre turbocharged diesel engine that used to power the Mahindra Thar DI in India. It produces a maximum power of 61 Bhp and peak torque of 114 Nm. The engine gets a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission. Mahindra also offers an optional four-wheel-drive system and a two-speed manual transfer case. The Roxor has gained quite a popularity in the U.S.A. market and there are many who have modified their vehicles.
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