7-slot Grill - Property of Jeep???

Date 2002/1/28 0:00:00 | Topic: Miscellaneous

About a year ago we reported on a potential lawsuit regarding Jeep's legendary 7-slot grill and how Hummer was considering using a 7-slot grill in their new Hummer H2 (if you're a registered user of the site, you can view the story here.) The Toledo Blade recently ran a story with an update of the lawsuit, here's a snippet:

AM General Corp. plans to begin building the $50,000 Hummer H2 in late spring, but whether the massive sport-utility vehicle will arrive on dealership lots with a Jeep-like, seven-slot grille remains in dispute.

A preliminary injunction hearing for an ongoing grille-trademark dispute between DaimlerChrysler AG and AM General, along with Hummer brand-owner General Motors Corp., is to begin Feb. 4. The hearing in U.S. District Court in South Bend, Ind., is scheduled for five days.

The hearing will be held nearly a year after months of talks between DaimlerChryslerís U.S. unit and GM broke down and competing lawsuits were filed in Toledo and South Bend, where the dispute is to be settled. A trial date has not been set.

The Chrysler unit is seeking a court order to stop production of the H2 with a seven-slot grille only, not that of the entire SUV if another grille design is used, said spokesman Ann Smith.

AM General spokesman Craig MacNab declined to say yesterday whether the South Bend company has another grille design for the H2 if the injunction is granted. There isnít a specific plan in place, said Alan Adler, a spokesman for GM, which acquired the Hummer brand in 1999 and designed the H2.

"That will all be in the hearing," Mr. MacNab said. "We believe that our position in this matter that is in litigation is very strong."

DaimlerChrysler has three trademarks dating back to 1981 for the seven-slot Jeep grille, which is used on the Toledo-made Liberty and Wrangler and Detroit-made Grand Cherokee. AM General, which like Jeep previously was owned by American Motors Corp., began using its grille design on huge military vehicles called Humvees in 1981 and got a trademark in 1996.

Check out the entire article.

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