Judge rules in favor of FCA's lawsuit for trade dress infringement.
Following in the infamous footsteps of several Chinese automakers over the years, Indian marque Mahindra has now been found guilty of copyright infringement because its off-road Roxor simply looks too much like a Jeep. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) saw fit to file a lawsuit claiming that the Roxor infringes on Jeep's distinctive trade dress.
According to Carscoops, several visual cues that FCA says people identify as typically Jeep were highlighted. These included the boxy body shape, the flat hood with its downward-curving side edges, the vertically elongated grille slots, and the rounded headlamps that you'll find on many Jeeps including the Wrangler JK. A cursory glance at the Roxor is enough to spot a clear resemblance.
With a strong case, Administrative Law Judge Cameron Elliot concurred that Mahindra's design does indeed infringe on the trade dress issues put forward by FCA. The ruling recommends that not only does the US International Trade Commission prevent the offending vehicle and its components from entry into the States, but that a cease-and-desist order be granted to stop the marque from selling more Roxors, even those already sitting at dealers.
Mahindra didn't have much of a defense, with its US CEO and President Rick Haas acknowledging that the Roxor looks like a Jeep. On the Roxor, Haas said it "has the appearance of a [Jeep] CJ". He also said that "everyone understands that our vehicle is a CJ". A 60-day review of the judge's findings will now follow, with a final confirmation expected in Q1 of 2020.
Appearances aside, the Roxor side by side was an honest and charming off-roader with a reliable engine and a low price. It's a pity that its life in North America should come to such an abrupt end, but one can also understand FCA's stance and the need to protect its brand.
Upon the ruling, the automaker said: "FCA US believes the evidence and relevant law all strongly support the Administrative Law Judge's determination that Mahindra has engaged in unfair trade practices and that Mahindra's infringement was harming or likely to harm the Jeep brand and FCA US."