Monday, July 22, 2024
NewsMahindra's Redesigned Roxor Allowed to Sell in U.S. as Stellantis Unit Loses...

Mahindra’s Redesigned Roxor Allowed to Sell in U.S. as Stellantis Unit Loses Legal Case

Fiat Chrysler’s attempt to block Mahindra & Mahindra from selling the post-2020 Roxor off-road vehicle in the U.S. failed, with the court ruling in favor of Mahindra.

 

  • The Eastern District Court of Michigan rules in favor of Mahindra, allowing them to continue selling the redesigned Roxor in the U.S. market.

  • Fiat Chrysler’s claims of design infringement against Mahindra’s Roxor are dismissed, marking a significant legal outcome.


 

In a significant legal battle between two major automakers, the Eastern District Court of Michigan recently delivered a ruling that favored Mahindra & Mahindra, an Indian automaker, in their dispute with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), now a part of the Stellantis group. The case revolved around the design of Mahindra’s Roxor off-road vehicle, which FCA claimed bore a striking resemblance to its iconic Jeep model.

2024 Jeep Wrangler | Photo: Jeep

At the core of the legal contention were design elements that FCA alleged were copied by Mahindra in the Roxor’s post-2020 version. These elements included a “boxy body shape with flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body ending at about the same height as the hood,” which FCA argued were distinctive characteristics of its Jeep design. As a result, FCA sought to halt Mahindra’s production, sale, and distribution of the Roxor in the U.S., further requesting the application of the “safe distance rule” to prevent potential infringement.

Mahindra Roxor | Photo : Mahindra
Mahindra Roxor | Photo : Mahindra

However, the court’s ruling decisively sided with Mahindra. The judge concluded that Mahindra Automotive North America had the right to continue producing, selling, and distributing the post-2020 Roxor in the United States. This ruling effectively dismissed FCA’s claims against Mahindra’s Roxor and rejected the application of the “safe distance rule.”

Mahindra Roxor | Photo : Mahindra
Mahindra Roxor | Photo : Mahindra

For Mahindra, the court’s ruling was a significant victory. It validated their position that the earlier 2018 and 2019 Roxor models, which were the subject of the dispute, were no longer in production. Additionally, Mahindra emphasized that the post-2020 Roxor featured distinct design changes, giving it a fresh look that set it apart from FCA’s Jeep.

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For FCA, the ruling means reevaluating their legal strategy concerning design protection and intellectual property rights. While their efforts to safeguard the Jeep’s distinctive design did not prevail in this case, the outcome serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenges automakers face in defending their brand identity amidst a fiercely competitive market.

2024 Jeep Wrangler | Photo: Jeep

The case between Mahindra and FCA sheds light on the legal complexities surrounding design infringement claims and trade dress protection in the automotive industry. As the global market for off-road vehicles and SUVs continues to grow, automakers must navigate these legal intricacies while striving to create innovative designs that resonate with consumers. The court’s ruling in favor of Mahindra highlights the importance of intellectual property rights and the significance of clear differentiation in product design to avoid potential infringement issues.

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