Mahindra files complaint against Fiat in Roxor design case
29 August 2018
Mahindra & Mahindra has filed a counter complaint with the US international Trade Commission against a patent violation complaint filed by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC.
On 23 August 2018, Mahindra filed a complaint in the federal court in Michigan on the applicability and enforcement of its 2009 agreement with Fiat. It has sought an injunction against Fiat (FCA US LLC) from participating in the ITC claim stating that Fiat had in 2009 agreed to never bring such claims as the Roxor uses a grille that they had approved.
“We are also arguing that Fiat is using the ITC case to harm our Roxor business by creating negative publicity, damaging our reputation and our stature in the marketplace,” M&M stated
FCA had filed a petition with the ITC against Mahindra, alleging that certain design features of Mahindra’s off-road utility vehicle Roxor infringed intellectual property rights of Fiat's Jeep design.
In response, Mahindra said it has taken a number of actions, both within the ITC and in Federal District Court. Mahindra also said in a statement that the complaint was “without merit”.
“This statement expresses our position on this matter and explains how it is in the public interest for the ITC to rule against Fiat and in favor of Mahindra,” it said.
“Our goals on the public interest statement were two-fold. One was to state our position on the merits and the other was to correct inaccuracies regarding Mahindra as a company and the Roxor as a product. We set the record straight on the history of Mahindra, including its US operations.
“We also demonstrated that the Roxor is a vehicle that was always intended only as an off-road vehicle, does not compete with Fiat vehicles, is manufactured and assembled in the first OEM plant to be built in Michigan, USA, in the last 25 years, was the result of more than three years of research and development, and categorically rejected the notion that the Roxor was an imported low quality “knock-off” kit car,, Mahindra stated in its release.
Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA) is the North American headquarters of the Mahindra Group’s automotive division. Established in 2013, MANA now employs over 400 people, and became the first automotive OEM to launch a manufacturing operation in SE Michigan in over 25 years when it began producing the Roxor off-road vehicle earlier this year in Auburn Hills, MI.
It works in collaboration with affiliate Mahindra teams in India, Italy and Korea, in automotive design, engineering and vehicle development, and is led by a team of veteran industry executives, engineers and designers, the company stated.