Marcus De Guzman / Mahindra | August 31, 2018 09:26
FCA, Mahindra lock horns in heated intellectual design claims
It looks like Mahindra is in hot water after Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) recently filed a patent violation complaint against the Indian automaker.
According to FCA, Jeep's parent company, Mahindra's new 4x4, the Roxor, has certain design features similar to that of Jeep. With it, FCA claims that this infringes intellectual property rights of Jeep as it was modelled after the World War II-era Willys.
Mahindra said that the claim was without 'merit' as they have already taken a number of procedures with the US Intellectual Trade Commission (ITC) and in federal courts.
Back in August 22, 2018, Mahindra filed a Public Interest Statement with the ITC which expressed the company's position regarding the matter and explained how it is in the public interest for the ITC to rule against FCA and in favor of Mahindra.
Mahindra has two goals in mind; state the company's positon and to correct inaccuracies regarding the Roxor. According to them, Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA) have already set the record straight on the history of Mahindra, including its US operations. In addition, Mahindra stated that the Roxor will not be able to directly compete against Jeep as it not road legal and is only available for off-road use.
FCA did not seek for monetary or damage claims with Mahindra. However, it sought to permanently restrain Mahindra from exporting, and MANA, from importing any parts or components which they claim infringes FCA's intellectual property rights in the US.
To counter this, Mahindra filed a complaint in Federal Court in Michigan last August 23, 2018 to block FCA's participation in the ITC claim. According to the Indian automaker, FCA had already agreed back in 2009 to not bring such claims if Mahindra uses a grill that they (FCA) approved (now seeing use in the Roxor). They are also arguing that FCA is using the ITC case to harm the Roxor's business by making negative publicity and damaging the company's reputation and stature in the market.