The legal battle between Mahindra and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over the off-road Roxor is not over yet. The 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio said the previous court was wrong in its reasons for not blocking the sale of the redesigned Roxor model after 2020.
The initial decision supports FCA’s claim that India-based Mahindra is copying classic Jeep styling for its Roxor. Off-roader that is not legal on the streets launched in 2018 with a look very like an old Willys Jeep, and FCA took legal action just months later. Mahindra hit back, claiming it had permission from Chrysler to build the Roxor and that the automaker approved a similar but different grille design. It was a legal battle that Mahindra ultimately lost in late 2019. That led to a redesigned grille for the Roxor, which was relaunched in 2020 with a new face.
FCA wants all Sales of the Roxor were blocked, but the initial court ruling did not apply to the updated model. The verdict is that the average person wouldn’t think the updated Roxor looks like a Jeep, so it’s free and obviously up for sale. The updated Roxor removed the long grille with vertical blades in favor of a wide grille with a series of oval openings. The front fenders were also modified, but now it seems the refreshed Roxor is guilty of association.
According to the appeals court, the ruling should take into account Mahindra’s previous infringement cases and bring the company to a higher standard. In this case, it shows the overall design of the Roxor still violates the Jeep FCA. The base body is square, has no doors, and has a round hood. This car also has a very short wheelbase, so it still bears some resemblance to the old Jeeper.
The case is now back in court for reconsideration, giving FCA one more chance to close the door on all sales of Roxor in the United States.
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