13, 2001, (Auburn Hills, MI) -- DaimlerChrysler Corporation
today confirmed that it had filed suit against General Motors Corporation
for appropriating one of the world's most recognizable automobile
features in order to enhance the appeal of GM's new Hummer sport
utility vehicle. The lawsuit was brought to protect DaimlerChrysler's
trademarked Jeep® grille design, which is protected by three
federal trademark registrations and has been made famous though
over 50 years of use on Jeep vehicles.
basic intention is to have good relationships with its competitors.
However, it has become increasingly apparent that this is one
area of disagreement that could not be amicably resolved outside
of the legal arena.
said that an independent analysis conducted by a respected market
research firm confirmed that the new H2 design is likely to mislead
potential SUV buyers. When shown photographs of the new H2, nearly
two-thirds of all Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Cherokee owners,
who took part in the survey, incorrectly associated the new H2
with a DaimlerChrysler vehicle, and more than half of other SUV
owners reached the same conclusion. When asked why they identified
the H2 as a DaimlerChrysler vehicle, most respondents referred
to the distinctive Jeep grille design.
In its suit
filed in U.S. District Court in Toledo, Ohio, DaimlerChrysler
is asking the court to block GM's use of the Jeep grille; force
GM to recall any H2s distributed with the Jeep grille; account
for all profits derived from the use of the Jeep grille; and award
DaimlerChrysler damages for trademark infringement and other violations.
Selected Grills for Comparison
Grand Cherokee (ZJ)
Grand Cherokee (WJ)
GM H2 Concept