ModdedJK

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Fiat Chrysler wins Jeep trade case against Mahindra

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June 12, 2020

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles won its bid for an order to block U.S. imports of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.’s Roxor off-road vehicle and components that it said copies the look of its iconic Jeep Wrangler.

The International Trade Commission said in a notice posted to its website that it upheld, with modifications, a judge’s finding that Mahindra’s off-road vehicle is a copy of the Jeep. The Trump administration can veto the ban on public policy grounds, though that rarely happens.

Fiat Chrysler claimed that the Roxor is a “nearly identical copy” of its Jeep, particularly the “boxy body shape with flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body ending at about the same height as the hood.”

Trade Judge Cameron Elliot in November found that the Roxor would infringe the trade dress of the Jeep as defined by six specific design elements, but not the registered trademarks for the Jeep’s front grille. He recommended that the commission block imports of the Roxor kits and components, saying Mahindra is purposefully trying to evoke the Jeep image, which would erode the value of the Wrangler.

Both sides asked the commission to review the portion of the decision they lost.

Mahindra, India’s largest maker of sport utility vehicles, makes the components in India and the Roxor is assembled at a plant in Michigan. It’s already hurting from a slowdown in India’s market for cars and trucks and reported no domestic sales in April because of the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. market, the most popular in the world for off-road vehicles, could help it weather the pandemic.

Mahindra said in a statement on Friday that the vehicle subject to the ITC action is no longer in production and the 2020 design was refreshed.

"The company and Mahindra Automotive North America ... remain resolute in its position that the Roxor does not dilute or violate Jeep's trade dress," Mahindra said, adding it was weighing options with respect to an appeal during the review period or in federal appeals court.

In January, Mahindra said its 2020 Roxor model had “significant styling changes” and it would “make additional styling changes, if so required, in cooperation with the ITC.” The 2020 vehicle, dubbed “The Beast,” starts at $16,599, according to Mahindra’s website.

In a filing with the commission, Mahindra said its new models aren’t in violation, and that Fiat Chrysler is trying to grab “a practical monopoly over the import and sale of components used in any boxy, open-topped, military-style vehicle.”

FCA said in a statement it was pleased with the decision and that the Italian-American automaker reserved further comment while it studied the ruling.

Fiat Chrysler said that Mahindra plans to “design right up to the line of infringement,” and said any question of whether the newer models should be allowed in the U.S. can be decided later.

While COVID-19 has slowed the $12.2 billion market for off-road vehicles this year, it’s expected to rebound next year, with the biggest growth in North America, according to analysts at Stratview Research. The U.S. accounted for more than 60 percent of global off-road vehicle sales in 2018, the report said.

The case is In the Matter of Certain Motorized Vehicles and Components Thereof, 337-1132, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington).
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MEHillwalker80

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Mahindra did the same with Kubota tractors.
 

Nickp01

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I read that this is something that Jeep essentially had to do to protect the Jeep brand. It wasn’t anything targeting Mahindra specifically, but more that if they didn’t persue it that something like a Chinese Jeep JK copy might eventually be allowed and Jeep wouldn’t be able to fight it.
 

JP'sJP

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So what. More power to them, make something decent and people will buy it. Free God damn world. BS that I can't go build and sell whatever I want. We don't live in China or bullshit Russia for crying out loud!
 

PyrPatriot

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So what. More power to them, make something decent and people will buy it. Free God damn world. BS that I can't go build and sell whatever I want. We don't live in China or bullshit Russia for crying out loud!
It’s called intellectual property rights and it’s in the constitution
 

73CJto19JL

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So what. More power to them, make something decent and people will buy it. Free God damn world. BS that I can't go build and sell whatever I want. We don't live in China or bullshit Russia for crying out loud!
Copying everyone else's design is exactly the shit that happens in China. So yeah - cheers to these judges for their decision!
 

JP'sJP

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It's alright guys. I realize some people look at freedom differently. I have no problems with that.
 

Arterius2

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It's alright guys. I realize some people look at freedom differently. I have no problems with that.
When the founding fathers wrote the constitution, pretty sure their understanding of freedom isn’t the freedom to do whatever the heck you want and take no consequences for your actions. That my friend, is called anarchy.

Mahindra has the freedom to make whatever they want, Jeep also has the freedom to fight it (in a court of law) but both will have to face the consequences of their actions — whatever that may be, is called freedom.
 
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JP'sJP

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Hey brother, I didn't mean to p you off. I'm good with what ever you think. Your the man, boss.
 

Arterius2

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Hey brother, I didn't mean to p you off. I'm good with what ever you think. Your the man, boss.
Oh no problem! I’m not pissed off at all, being a Canadian myself I was actually having a good laugh with having to explain the basic idea of the constitution to an American!
 
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goose77

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It's a total jeep and I love it! Some parts cross fit on my CJ and it's street legal. I get the jeep wave and people asking me if its a CJ-7. The diesel rocks. Grab one while you can.
 
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