Fiat Chrysler Automobiles accuses M&M of Jeep design infringement


Italian-American car major Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has filed an exchange grievance looking to prevent Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) from selling an off-avenue automobile that it recently released within the US, alleging that the Indian vehicle had ripped off designs from its iconic Jeep.

FCA filed the complaint on August 1 with the United States International Trade Commission, claiming that the Mahindra Roxor infringed key characteristics of Jeep’s signature trade get dressed —particularly the “boxy body form with flat-appearing vertical sides and rear body finishing at about the equal height as the hood,” suggested Bloomberg.FCA has alleged that the Roxor, which M&M imports inside the US from India as knocked-down kits, turned into “a nearly equal copy of the iconic Jeep design,” adding that the product becomes modeled after the original Willys Jeep.

M&M executives declined to touch upon the matter. FCA spokespersons did not reply to Business Standard’s queries. One company lawyer who refused to be named said there had been three key determinants of IP (intellectual assets) law infringement. They targeted round trademark, copyright, and patent violations. “In this situation, at least from what we see, there’s no trademark violation because the emblems and the names of the motors aren’t comparable in any respect. The engineering, the drive to teach, and the electricity teach are also multiple, so that removes the patent option properly. This leaves the copyright infringement alternative as a likely area in which the agencies are not seeing eye to eye,” he stated.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles accuses M&M of Jeep design infringement

Nishad Nadkarni, the accomplice partner with law firm Khaitan & Co, said the matter seemed less than needed to do with layout rights, which had been maximum, in all likelihood, confined to the aesthetics, appearance, and sense of a product. “The take a look at for design rights is only judged using the attention,” he said; the key is to keep in mind that any registration for layout has to be made before a vehicle is launched and now, not after, and that commonly these rights handiest hold good for around 15 years even the world over. He introduced that the action appears to be a movement in “passing off.”

While the form and configuration of a product are the motive for which a product is acknowledged as originating from Manufacturer A, Manufacturer A can search to prevent Manufacturer B from manufacturing and making profits out of a product same in form and configuration.

One can’t ride on the reputation and goodwill generated by another. “That seems to be the declaration,” Nadkarni stated. Regardless of how the problem is hammered out, he expects the matter to be resolved within years inside the US, wherein such subjects circulate quickly.

The Roxor is a rugged-searching Willys-style jeep powered via a 2. A five-liter diesel engine is predicted to be priced at around $15,000 or Rs 1 million. In contrast, Jeep’s Willys Wheeler, a fairly similar-looking automobile, is priced at $27,000. The vehicle is unique in that its front grill has four and 1/2 slots compared to Chrysler Jeep’s seven places, but the body arches of its wheels are trapezoidal or squarish like Chrysler’s cars, stated an enterprise observer.


Gautam Sen, a Paris-based car creator, says that historically, the race almost continually comes right down to this – whether or not the panel for the panel is the same vehicle. “Are the motors so similar that most people would mistake them for every difference, and are the similarities robust enough to motivate confusion among clients?” he delivered.

Such tussles between international auto gamers aren’t uncommon. Recently, Jaguar Land Rover initiated a legal movement towards Jiangling Motors of China due to the external design similarities between its Landwind SUV and JLR’s Range Rover Evoque. Then, in 2005, General Motors settled a protracted-standing dispute with Chery Automobile of China over the small hatchback QQ, which the American business enterprise alleged became a copy of its small vehicle known as the Chevy Spark, also called the Matiz, designed by way of GM Daewoo in Korea.

Mahindra’s passenger vehicle income in current years was under strain, with falling unit income in the face of opposition coming from newer trendier SUVs made with the aid of players with Ford, Maruti Suzuki, and FCA. Last year, M&M opened the Mahindra Automotive North America workplace. It had announced plans to invest $600 million in its Michigan manufacturing facility if it wanted to increase its workforce and manufacture the Roxor.

Aly Jones
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