US regulator sides with FCA in Mahindra Roxor dispute
In the most recent development to the ongoing saga between Mahindra's North American arm and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the US trade regulatory body has ruled that the Mahindra Roxor off-roader sold in the US infringes upon the 'trade dress' of the Jeep Wrangler. Consequently, the International Trade Commission has ordered that the sale and import of the Roxor will have to be stopped immediately.
Left- 4-door Jeep Wrangler. Right Mahindra Roxor
FCA had raised objection to the Roxor's styling, which the US carmaker said was very similar to the seven-slat grille, round headlamps and squared-off design of its Wrangler. Mahindra has responded to this development by saying that the vehicle in question has already been discontinued, and the 2020 model year car has a new design. It also sells the car under a new name, The Beast.
A trade dress is an intellectual property that is the visual appearance or the packaging of a product that ties it to its manufacturer for consumers. This is the latest ruling in a dispute that has gone on of the better part of the last two years, in November 2019 a judge from the ITC had passed a similar ruling, which has now been upheld. Both parties had asked for the decision to be reviewed after this, the delay has been caused due to the COVID19 pandemic.
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