US regulator lifts sales curbs on Mahindra's new Roxor jeep model
30 December 2020
Six months after barring the sale of older models of Mahindra’s Roxor off-road utility vehicle in the US, a new regulatory ruling on Wednesday said the new model Roxor did not infringe the intellectual property rights of Chrysler Automobiles’ Jeep brand.
The International Trade Commission (ITC) said the new Roxor models that are manufactured this year did not violate the “trade dress” of FCA’s Jeep Wrangler SUV.
ITC has accepted an administrative law judge’s October recommendation that design changes made by Mahindra meant an earlier cease-and-desist order should not apply to newer models.
“The ruling validates Mahindra’s redesign of the highly popular Roxor off-road vehicle,” Mahindra said in a statement. “Mahindra is now permitted to manufacture and distribute the redesigned 2021 Roxor.”
However, FCA said in a statement it was disappointed by the court ruling that refused to accept its argument that Jeep Wrangler’s boxy body shape, front grille and round headlights are all distinct to the brand and should not be part pf any other brand.
In June, the ITC ruled Mahindra infringed on the intellectual property rights of FCA’s 2019-model Jeep brand and barred the sale of vehicles intellectual property rights in question.
The ITC had, issued a limited exclusion order prohibiting the sale or import of the Roxor or its parts, as well as a cease and desist order to Mahindra and its North American unit, saying that its grille and boxy body infringed the intellectual property rights of FCA’s 2019-model Jeep brand.
Mahindra had said the 2020 model was refreshed and changed to avoid the issue, but the commission did not decide at that time whether the newer model and subsequent versions infringed Jeep’s property rights.