What is the Mahindra Roxor and why are they in a Legal Dispute for looking like a Jeep?
What is the Mahindra Roxor and why were they accused of trade dress infringement? Before we start on that, we first have to explain what a trade dress is. A trade dress is intellectual property protection for the appearance of a product so when consumers see a product, they identify it with the company.
For example, a coca-cola bottle has a unique design to it that if someone saw it, they can quickly identify the company and what is in the bottle. This is essentially a trade dress, protecting the unique appearance of your product so others don’t steal it.
Why is there legal action?
Mahindra Roxor sells cars in the United States that look very similar to the Jeep Wrangler. The international commission concluded that the Mahindra Roxor did try to steal the look of the Jeep Wrangler to sell more cars. Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. was selling cars in the United States, using parts from India. Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. even had an assembly plant in Auburn Hills, very close to the Chrysler headquarters, who makes Jeeps.
After the ruling, Mahindra is no longer allowed to sell the Roxor in the United States. They can now go for an appeal or the US government can veto this ruling, but it is rare and most likely not going to happen and instead go to court. The Roxors that are being discussed were made between 2018 and 2019 and are no longer in production.
What you can take from this
For you as a customer, keep in mind that a product that looks like something, could not be the real product that you think it is. From a company point of view, if you want to put a product in the market, make sure that not only the name and trademark are protected, but also that your trade dress is protected. The appearance of your product is very important and should be safeguarded under United States Law.
This post is a transcript of the 213th installment of the Morning Musing series. To watch the video, click down below.
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