Redesigned Mahindra Roxor Could Still Be Banned For Sale In US
The legal battle between Mahindra and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over the off-road-only Roxor isn’t finished just yet. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio has said a previous court was incorrect in its reasoning for not blocking the sale of redesigned Roxor models after 2020.
The initial ruling was in favor of FCA’s claim that India-based Mahindra copied classic Jeep styling for its Roxor. The not-street-legal off-roader launched in 2018 looking very much like an old Willys Jeep, and FCA took legal action just months later. Mahindra fired back, claiming it had permission from Chrysler to build the Roxor and that the automaker approved its similar-yet-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 relaunched in 2020 sporting a new face.
Gallery: Mahindra Roxor
FCA wanted all Roxor sales blocked, but the initial court decision didn’t apply to the updated model. The ruling was that a typical person wouldn’t think the refreshed Roxor looked like a Jeep, so it was free and clear for sale. The updated Roxor eliminated the long grille with vertical slats 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 by association.
Gallery: 2022 Mahindra Roxor
According to the appeals court, the ruling should have considered Mahindra’s previous run-ins with infringement cases and held the company to a higher standard. In this instance, it suggests the Roxor’s overall design still infringes upon FCA’s Jeep. The basic body is square, lacks doors, and features a rounded hood. It rides on a very short wheelbase as well, so there is still some resemblance to the old Jeeper.
The case now goes back to court for reconsideration, giving FCA one more opportunity to close the door on all Roxor sales in the States.
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