The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) in a statement said that it will probe an investigation in certain motorised vehicles and components thereof based on a complaint filed by Fiat Chrysler Automobile US against Mahindra & Mahindra and Mahindra Automotive North America.
The commission said the investigation is based on a complaint filed by FCA US on August 1, 2018, which claimed that the sale of Mahindra Roxor violated section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain motorised vehicles and components thereof that infringe trade dress and trademarks asserted by the complainant.
FCA has requested that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders against Mahindra & Mahindra and MANA.
USITC says that by instituting this investigation (337-TA-1132), it has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. It further said that the USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will be assigned to the case to one of the USITC’s administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing.
The judge will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337 and the initial determination will be subject to review by the Commission. The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. The probe will be completed within 45 days after the institution of the investigation, and the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation.
The commission said that the remedial orders under section 337 cases will be effective when issued and will become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.
The FCA complaint alleges that certain design features of the details of the Mahindra Roxor infringe the intellectual property rights of dispute/ litigation – Fiat's Jeep design as it was modelled after the original Willys Jeep.
Following the complaint filed by Fiat Chrysler Automobile US on August 1 with the United States International Trade Commission to prevent Mahindra & Mahindra from exporting parts for the Roxor and Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA) importing the same, the Indian manufacturer says it has taken a number of actions both within the ITC and in the Federal District Court, USA to prevent Fiat from proceeding in the matter.
M&M says the case is without merit. On August 22, 2018, the company filed a Public Interest Statement with the ITC expressing its position on this matter and explaining how it is in the public interest for the ITC to rule against Fiat and in favour of Mahindra.