Jeep could end up winning its patent infringement claim.
Last month, we reported that FCA was attempting to stop an Indian company called Mahindra from selling its off-road vehicle called the Roxor. Even though the Roxor is purely an off-roader and not road legal, FCA's Jeep brand claims that it looks too much like the Wrangler and that Mahindra has infringed on its intellectual property rights. We didn't think FCA had much of a case, but Automotive News reports that a US regulator will now launch an investigation into the issue.
The US International Trade Commission said in a statement that it will be launching an investigation on the patent for the Mahindra Roxor, which should be completed in the next 45 days. This may only be a precautionary investigation because we still believe Mahindra will win here. Mahindra has had the rights to the original Willys Jeep design since 1947 and reached an agreement with Chrysler on the issue back in 2009.
Mahindra is also seeking an injunction against FCA, asking a Michigan court to enforce the agreement from 2009. Seeing as the Roxor isn't even a road-legal car, we don't think FCA has a case here. We will continue to update you if a decision is made in regards to FCA's patent complaint and the ongoing investigation.