US to review Roxor’s ‘trade dress’ breach, says M&M

The company said that the initial findings made by the administrative law judge of the ITC was a non-binding recommendation to the ITC, and M&M has asked the same to be reviewed, M&M said.

By:Published: January 24, 2020 8:07:37 AM

Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) on Thursday said, that the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has decided to review the initial findings related to Mahindra Roxor’s ‘trade dress’ violations of Fiat Chrysler’s ‘Jeep’ model.
The commission will also review the order prohibiting the import of Roxor’s parts, and sale of any already imported parts by the company. Trade dress is the characteristics of the visual appearance of a product or its packaging that signifies the source of the product to consumers. It is a form of intellectual property.

The company said that the initial findings made by the administrative law judge of the ITC was a non-binding recommendation to the ITC, and M&M has asked the same to be reviewed, M&M said. “The ITC will consider the Initial Determination and review applications filed by the parties and make a final determination,” the company’s statement added.

Fiat Chrysler in August 2018 complained to US ITC that Mahindra’s Roxor infringes the intellectual property rights of Fiat’s Jeep design, as it was modelled on the original Willys Jeep. Fiat said, it wanted permanent injunction on manufacture or sale of the Roxor as well as “disgorgement” of any profits made from Roxor’s sales. M&M believes the complaints are without merit and there was no question of disgorgement of profits. It cautions, if Fiat gets a permanent injunction, Mahindra Automotive North America, a subsidiary of M&M, will no longer be able to sell Roxors in the US.

“The company is optimistic that the ITC will reconsider the preliminary findings of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and conclude that Fiat did not establish previously unclaimed US rights in trade dress and that there was no infringement of either trade dress or registered trademarks,” M&M said. “Mahindra has already launched its model year 2020 Roxor with significant styling changes and will make additional styling changes, if so required in cooperation with the ITC,” M&M said.

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