— A battle between Chrysler's Jeep Wrangler and Mahindra's ROXOR has been decided after a ruling by the International Trade Commission (ITC).
According to the ITC, Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) was correct when it accused Mahindra of ripping off the "trade dress" of the Jeep Wrangler with its boxy style, round headlights and distinct front grille.
Mahindra advertises the ROXOR as an off-road utility vehicle, but Chrysler argues nothing about the vehicle looks like a typical utility vehicle found in the U.S.
In the complaint filed by Chrysler, the automaker said the vertical-slot flat grille, boxy body and round headlights weren't the only parts Mahindra allegedly copied. FCA also claimed the ROXOR copied the Wrangler's rear body panels that end at about the same height as the flat hood with curved edges that taper to a narrow front.
Mahindra argues the ROXOR utility vehicle doesn't harm Chrysler because the ROXOR isn't for highway use even though it was modeled on a Jeep.
India-based Mahindra was granted certain rights to build and sell Jeep-branded products by Chrysler in a business relationship that has continued more than 60 years. However, FCA claims Mahindra agreed to keep the products in India, an alleged reversal of what the company is now doing in the U.S.
A U.S. judge in November 2019 ruled the ROXOR was too similar to a Jeep Wrangler after FCA filed a complaint arguing the ROXOR confuses consumers. The judge recommended that the ITC ban the ROXOR vehicles because Mahindra may harm Jeep's brand and reputation.
Mahindra denied the ROXOR was a copy of the Wrangler, but the company still made changes to the vehicle and now claims the 2020 ROXOR design is different and not related to the design of earlier models.
Although Mahindra says the 2020 ROXOR has a different design than the one described in the ITC ruling, the company must stop selling and importing the ROXOR vehicles that may be confused for Jeep Wranglers.