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Jeep Moves to Australian Court Over Design of New Mahindra Thar SUV, 90 Days Notice Given

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Two automobile companies — Jeep and Mahindra — are at loggerheads once again as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the owner of the Jeep, has moved the Federal Court of Australia against India's Mahindra & Mahindra. FCA has sued Mahindra in Australia after the latter released a teaser advertisement of the second generation Thar SUV in the Australian market.

FCA, the American SUV maker, has appealed to the court to stop the launch of Mahindra’s Thar in the Australian market and if and it intends to do so, the company has to give Jeep a 90-day notice. According to FCA’s plea, the new Mahindra Thar infringes the Jeep Wrangler's design as seen in the teaser which indicated that the Indian automaker might soon launch Thar having design very similar to Wrangler.

In its reply against the suit filed by FCA, the Indian auto manufacturer has stated that Mahindra does not have any plans to launch the current model of the Thar in the Australian market. The company has also agreed to furnish a 90-day notice period in case it wants to launch any future model of the Thar in Australia. The company has also removed the teaser of the Thar from its Australian website.

The Court has listed the case to be heard on May 20, 2021. This is not the first time that Jeep and Mahindra have locked horns. Jeep and Mahindra have come again at the opposite end of a courtroom only five months after Mahindra & Mahindra won a court case against FCA in the USA.

FCA had filed a lawsuit against Mahindra in the USA claiming that the design of the Roxor infringes the “Jeep Trade Dress” design. FCA had demanded that the court to completely ban Mahindra Roxor in the USA market. However, the court ruled in the favour of Mahindra and allowed it to sell the Roxor in the USA but following a change in design.

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