By Eric Schweibenz and John Presper
On August 1, 2018, FCA US LLC of Auburn Hills, Michigan (“FCA”) filed a complaint (part 1 and part 2) requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. of India and Mahindra Automotive North America, Inc. of Auburn Hills, Michigan (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain motorized vehicles and components thereof that violate common law trade dress and registered trademarks used with and displayed on Jeep®-brand vehicles manufactured and sold by FCA and its predecessors.

According to the complaint, the accused products are motorized vehicles, kits and assemblies for motorized vehicles, and replacement and aftermarket components for motorized vehicles. The accused products allegedly infringe and dilute FCA’s distinctive Jeep® vehicle trade dress, including the overall exterior appearance and styling of the vehicle design, such as a boxy body shape with flat appearing vertical side and rear body panels ending at about the same height as the hood, a substantially flat hood with curved side edges that tapers to be narrower at the front, trapezoidal front wheel wells with front fenders or fender flares that extend beyond the front of the grille, a flat appearing grille with vertical elongated grille slots and a trapezoidal outline that curves around round headlamps positioned on the upper part of the grille, exterior hood latches, and door cutouts above a bottom portion of the side body panels. The accused products also allegedly infringe one or more of U.S. Trademark Registration Nos. 4,272,873; 2,862,487; 2,161,779; 2,794,553; and 4,043,984. The complaint specifically identifies Proposed Respondents’ Roxor vehicle that is allegedly designed to copy FCA’s protected trade dress and trademarks.

Regarding domestic industry, FCA states that it satisfies the requirement under Section 337(a)(3)(A)-(C) through U.S. investments in plant, equipment, labor, capital, and exploitation relating to articles protected by the Jeep® trade dress and Jeep® trademarks, including the Jeep® Wrangler® at its Toledo Assembly Complex in Toledo, Ohio.

The complaint does not identify and related court or agency litigation.

With respect to potential remedy, FCA requests that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and cease-and-desist orders directed to the Proposed Respondents.