The legal battle between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Mahindra is heating up as Administrative Law Judge Cameron Elliot has determined the Mahindra Roxor infringes on the look of Jeep vehicles.
The case has many facets, but FCA was primarily concerned the Roxor uses six features — known as “trade dress” — that are distinctively Jeep. These include: exterior hood latches, “door cutouts above the bottom portion of the side body panels,” and a “boxy body shape with flat appearing vertical side and rear body panels ending at about the same height as the hood.”
The company also noted the Roxor’s “hood is substantially flat with curved side edges that taper to be narrower at the front” and there are “trapezoidal front wheel wells with front fenders or fender flares that extend beyond the front of the grille.” The grille has also been a big issue and FCA pointed out it is “flat with vertical elongated grille slots and a trapezoidal outline that curves around round headlamps position on the upper part of the grille.”
Following arguments and presentations from both sides, Administrative Law Judge Cameron Elliot found the Roxor violates Jeep’s trade dress. As a result, he recommended the United States International Trade Commission grant FCA’s limited exclusion order that covers the Roxor and its components. The judge also recommended a cease-and-desist order to prevent Mahindra from selling Roxors in the United States.
FCA added, “The ALJ has determined Mahindra violated 19 U.S.C. Section 1337 and that an order excluding infringing vehicles and components from entry into the U.S. is appropriate. In addition, the ALJ has also determined that a cease-and-desist order is appropriate preventing Mahindra from selling any vehicles already in the U.S.”