US to probe Mahin­dra over Fiat Chrysler Jeep com­plaint

Financial Chronicle - - MONEY GAME - REUTERS

AUS reg­u­la­tor on Tues­day said it would launch an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into an off-road util­ity ve­hi­cle pro­duced by Mahin­dra and Mahin­dra fol­low­ing a com­plaint by Fiat Chrysler Au­to­mo­biles NV that it in­fringed upon the in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights of its Jeep de­sign.

The US In­ter­na­tional Trade Com­mis­sion (ITC) said in a state­ment that it was launch­ing a pa­tent-re­lated in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the In­dian au­tomaker’s ROXOR ve­hi­cle.

The ITC said the com­plaint was re­lated to the im­port and sale in the United States of cer­tain mo­tor­ized ve­hi­cles and com­po­nents that Fiat Chrysler had al­leged in­fringed on its trade­marks. The agency said it would aim to com­plete its probe within 45 days.

The ITC has in­di­cated it will be­gin an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Fiat Chrysler’s com­plaint and that it will also be con­duct­ing a 100-day ex­pe­dited con­sid­er­a­tion of the 2009 agree­ment and its ef­fect on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, said Rich Ansell, vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing, Mahin­dra Au­to­mo­tive North Amer­ica.

Fiat Chrysler could not im­me­di­ately be reached for com­ment.

Last month, Mahin­dra said that Fiat Chrysler had filed a pa­tent vi­o­la­tion com­plaint with the ITC against the com­pany and called the com­plaint with­out merit.

Mahin­dra said that it and its North Amer­i­can unit had filed a pub­lic in­ter­est state­ment with the ITC and had be­gun pro­ceed­ings in a Michi­gan court to en­force a de­sign agree­ment that it had ex­e­cuted with Fiat Chrysler in 2009.

Mahin­dra was seek­ing an in­junc­tion against Fiat Chrysler from pro­ceed­ing with the com­plaint, it added.

Fiat Chrysler had not made a mone­tary claim in the com­plaint but was seek­ing to block Mahin­dra Au­to­mo­tive from im­port­ing any parts or com­po­nents into the United States that in­fringe upon Fiat Chrysler’s in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights, it said.

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