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Fiat Chrysler trying to stop the sale of Jeep clone

Discussion in 'Mopar / FCA News' started by Hemidakota, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Judas Shuttlesworth

    Judas Shuttlesworth Active Member

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  2. Judas Shuttlesworth

    Judas Shuttlesworth Active Member

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    From Mahindra's filing...

    "Fiat’s act of filing its ITC Complaint constitutes a material breach of the contract. Fiat’s predecessor expressly and unambiguously “agree[d] and warrant[ed]” that it would not assert against M&M or its affiliates “any claim for infringement of Chrysler’s trade dress, trademark, or other intellectual property rights in the United States based on: (1) a grille having the Approved Grille Design; or (2) a vehicle containing or using the Approved Grille Design.”

    "Fiat knew or should with reasonable diligence have known of the existence of the contract at the time it filed the ITC complaint. The contract was signed by Michael Manley, who was President & CEO of Jeep in 2009. Today, Mr. Manley is the CEO of defendant Fiat."

    Let the legal spanking of FCA commence...
     
  3. Judas Shuttlesworth

    Judas Shuttlesworth Active Member

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    More from the filing...

    47. Even if Fiat’s trademarks and trade dress are valid, Mahindra’s ROXOR vehicle does not infringe because:

    a. By virtue of the 2009 contract bewteen the Mahindra and Fiat, Fiat admitted that the “consent[ed] to” grille design is non-infringing;

    b. Mahindra acted in the utmost good faith by using a “consent[ed] to” grille design and otherwise relying on its contract with Chrysler;

    c. The ROXOR designs differ from the asserted marks and dress in material respects (including, but not limited to, overall size, shape, and orientation), a central feature of the Approved Grille Design is the Mahindra Millenium logo, and the grille designs are always Case 2:18-cv-12645-GAD-SDD ECF No. 1 filed 08/23/18 PageID.16 Page 16 of 26 17 accompanied by the prominent and distinctive word marks MAHINDRA and ROXOR prominently displayed on every ROXOR vehicle;

    d. The parties’ goods differ insofar as the ROXOR is an off-road-only vehicle—it cannot be registered for on-road use in any state;

    e. The marketing channels differ because the JEEP products are marketed as street-legal automobiles and the ROXOR is not;

    f. The sales channels differ because the parties’ products are sold by their authorized dealers and those dealers are materially different insofar as Jeep products are sold at automobile dealerships and ROXOR off-road-only vehicles are sold at powersports dealers who sell ATVs, UTVs, and snowmobiles;

    g. The price and nature of the goods is such that consumers are likely to be keenly aware of what they are purchasing and from whom;

    h. Despite nearly six months of sales, there are no incidents of actual confusion; and

    i. Mahindra acted in good faith with no intent to cause consumer confusion.
    Oh the humanity! Please make it stop!
     
  4. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it's a slam dunk for Mahindra. Maybe it is for FCA. That's why we have been blessed with lawyers and judges to sort it out.:p

    Things I would focus on are the timing of the 2009 agreement and if that agreement was part of or passed over to FCA. I'd also scrutinize how the Roxor is partly manufactured in India and assembled in Michigan. I don't know how the law defines imported versus assembly and how that would play into a license or breech an agreement.

    The whole self congratulatory pats on the back in the Mahindra filing over the Roxor's immediate success is precious. Talk about chumming the waters for the FCA sharks.
     
  5. Judas Shuttlesworth

    Judas Shuttlesworth Active Member

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    ...and juries

    "Mahindra demands a trial by jury..."

    I'm sure Manley is looking forward to take the stand...
     
  6. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    Oh please. I highly doubt Manley will take the stand. The nice thing about lawsuits is you can demand anything. I can sue Ford and demand they dig up old Henry and make him dance around the courtroom like its Weekend at Bernies. Pre-trial theatrics are free. The rational assumption is that this lawsuit will be settled out of court with both parties claiming victory.
     
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  7. Judas Shuttlesworth

    Judas Shuttlesworth Active Member

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    And if they want him on the stand, what exactly would Manley's reason be to avoid having to testify?

    No one on the planet is more material to the contract in question and the FCA's breach of it than he is. Given that he's the one who actually signed the agreement in 2009 as the President and CEO of Jeep, and is now the current CEO of FCA.
     
  8. Adventurer55

    Adventurer55 Well-Known Member

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    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. If it's left to Old Car Company it's validity might not stand.
     
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  9. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    This isn't criminal court for gosh sake.:rolleyes: Company CEO's don't regularly spend time testifying in court for every lawsuit the company is involved with. They pay big bucks for lawyers to avoid wasting their time that way.
     
  10. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    Yup. A distinction that we don't know but some have already assumed.
     
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  11. Tin Man 2

    Tin Man 2 Active Member

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    I doubt that the 2009 agreement was that the clone could be sold in the USA, in any form, ATV, UTV or whatever they choose to call it. We had best fight this to the bitter end.
     
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  12. Judas Shuttlesworth

    Judas Shuttlesworth Active Member

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    Interesting how this all started a week after Marchionne passed away. It appears that he might have had the sense to avoid it completely, while those underneath him did not.
     
  13. Tin Man 2

    Tin Man 2 Active Member

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    It makes sense to defend your home market, it would be foolish to let this happen without a fight. With a stronger defense in the past the industry would not be in the shape it is in today.
     
  14. Erik Latranyi

    Erik Latranyi Allpar Legacy

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    The agreement allows Mahindra to use the 4.5 slot grille without restriction of market.

    Do you really think Mahindra would do this (building an assembly plant) if they were clearly excluded from the US market?

    I think FCA is losing this one. I see no way to stop it.

    If FCA manages to win, the Roxxor will be a collector's item!
     
  15. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    Or in his quest to reduce spending, he was foolishly allowing Mahindra to open pandoras box of knock-off Wrangler products by allowing the sale of an obvious Jeep clone in NA. Manley recognizes the danger and will fight to preserve the iconic design for Jeep only.

    The spin scenarios are endless.:p
     
  16. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    The lawsuit may be FCA's way of forcing a new license negotiation. Jeeps "loss" may prove better than not fighting it at all. Or it could be a method of gaining a stricter definition of the Wrangler trademark to prevent more copy cat designs, who knows. There are a whole host of potential goals FCA could have by suing Mahindra other than a simple stop sale. Big business is a dirty game.
     
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  17. Judas Shuttlesworth

    Judas Shuttlesworth Active Member

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    Odd thing is that this agreement WASN'T signed with the old Chrysler.

    Chrysler came out from under bankruptcy under Fiat ownership on June 10, 2009. The date of this agreement was with the new Chrysler Group LLC.

    [​IMG]

    Can't spin that...
     
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  18. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    (shrug) No spin from me, it is what it is. I'm more interested in learning the nuances behind how all things work in FCA, not straight up winning internet weenie distance contests.;)
     
  19. Erik Latranyi

    Erik Latranyi Allpar Legacy

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    More wasted money chasing windmills.

    If FCA was serious, they would have sought an injunction before the first Roxor was built, since it was announced to the world publicly.

    Fil8ng a suit after sales have started shows incompetence and desperation.

    The Roxor does not look like any existing Jeep except those long forgotten by Jeep and FCA.

    Call it a retro design, no longer owned by anyone, with a legal grille.

    If someone can show me where FCA filed right to the CJ-3 design, then they have a case.
     
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  20. KrisW

    KrisW Well-Known Member

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    Legally, Copyright is a right... The clue is in the name, really. Like other rights, it is innate: you do not have to claim it for it to exist. You do, however, have to defend it.

    None of us know what communication took place between FCA and Mahindra prior to this court case. The courts are usually the last resort in a dispute, not the first step.
     
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