Let’s get the basics out of the way, the Roxor UTV looks like an old Jeep Wrangler. FCA, the owner of the Jeep, doesn’t like the similarities but approved of Roxor’s use of the design for off-road, sporting, or agricultural use only. At the time, Roxor was selling mostly overseas. But, then, Mahindra, Roxor’s parent, set up an American headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, just outside Detroit. FCA put their foot down and has had Roxor in court. The company reached its limit of tolerance with the Wrangler copies.
The Jeep Wrangler look-alike case
Roxor and FCA have been in and out of courts for a while now. Back in June, I covered the most recent ruling at the time. You can see that story by clicking here. Basically, Roxor had to stop sales until it could change the design to be sufficiently different as approved by a judge. Well, that day has come.
Mahindra changed the design of the Roxor for 2021. That change was submitted to the International Trade Commission for review. In a statement from Mahindra, the Commission ruled that the change was approved.
“International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued its final ruling and determined that the redesigned 2021 ROXOR does not infringe on the “Jeep Trade Dress” claimed by FCA. This follows on the heels of earlier ITC and Federal District Court rulings that Mahindra did not infringe on any of FCA’s registered trademarks. The ruling comes after a long-running trade dress dispute between FCA and Mahindra.”
Wrangler and Roxor debate to continue in court
Keep in mind that the ITC’s ruling was just one hurdle in the long race for Mahindra and FCA. Everything is not as final as it may seem. The change in the grille of the new Roxor is only one concern for FCA. So, FCA is continuing the suit against the manufacturer of the Wrangler look-alike vehicle. A spokesperson for the manufacturer told the Detriot News,
“While FCA is disappointed with the Commission’s decision regarding the redesign, we believe we will be successful in appealing this decision.”
In a nutshell, the court case before the International Trade Commission seems like it will be continuing. So, this matter could theoretically be prolonged for a few more years. The only question that remains is whether or not Roxor will be able to resume sales if there is an appeal coming.
Mahindra’s Roxor is somewhat dark
In the meantime, Roxor’s website is still somewhat dark. They no longer show the Roxor prominently and instead have a message that says, “Sometimes you have to look deep within to find the truest version of yourself, so we’re off on a journey to do just that. We will RISE again. Stronger. Different. Freakier. Stay tuned.” Over on their YouTube page, a video that promises that their Freak Flag will unfurl, and it will be the second-best day ever. Presumably, the video is referring to the other side of the unknowns regarding the continuing legal case.
I asked a question back in June that seems to be just as pertinent now as it was back then. What do you think? Is this a case of Roxor biting the hand that has fed them? Or, is this a case of FCA not wanting to honor agreements they have made in the past? This post will be made on our Facebook page, where you can sound off.