Friday, June 4, 2010

Mahindra v. Winfield, Part I

Yep, it’s true. Without divulging too many details at this time, the company (Mahindra) whose product (their US-bound pickups) I am unequivocally passionate about, has decided to lay some big brother smackdown on my pimply backside.


Indeed, Mahindra Planet is a substantial vehicle for relaying Mahindra happenings to fellow fans, and even the haters as well. With over 100 posts in the past year and a half and over 6,500 visits each month, Mahindra Planet has been a highly visible proponent and supporter of Mahindra in the United States. Okay, I’ve aired negative opinion and concerns once in a while, but even that is driven by the desire to see Mahindra improve their customer relations and succeed as a whole.

Oh, and this is all done with negative profit. That’s right. I pay for hosting and domain names. Even the small bit of advertising on the blog doesn’t return a fraction of the expense. Nope, I actually do this for personal satisfaction and (gasp) fun.

So, I’ve taken a shot to the nuts of epic proportions.

I’ve been busy putting together a defense for my apparently despicable, distasteful, and borderline criminal misrepresentation of Mahindra, their good name, and their fine products.

For some reason, I’m currently not too motivated to spread the Mahindra gospel and put a positive spin on the weird way they do business or treat their importer and prospective dealers.

You will have to excuse me; I have to get back to justifying my existence to the company that I help promote from the kindness of my heart.

27 comments:

Adam said...

This site is the ONLY reason I have not already bought something else and I continue to wait for Mahindra's launch in the US.

Anonymous said...

here, here. december is a long fricken time to wait to get a truck (AND WILL WE IN DECEMBER!??), but I do not want to get what I don't want now and then have to turn around to buy another in december. this is just bad!

Anonymous said...

If this is the way Mahindra shows their appreciation to someone who has promoted THEIR product then screw them, I'M OUT....Too many delays, this thing must be junk to have been put off so many times.......Bugman

Anonymous said...

Chris,
I am fully aware Mahindra Planet is not associated with Mahindra and Mahindra, Mumbia, India,as I believe all your readers are. Let us know what address to send e-mails to and I'll bet you can get more than one or two in your support. Thanks for all the info you have provided at NO charge. Dave

dick said...

Screw those jerkoffs. Toss out a disclaimer that'll scroll up from the bottom of the page and deny any claim to their profit or name.

Did that gutless wonder, Andy over at the forum get one too?
Wait, I could care less.

Dick

Andy said...

Gutless wonder. Nice ;) Love you too, Dick.

Anonymous said...

Unreal and so typical of big business. So many other ways M&M could have proceeded. Every vehicle manufacturer has several unofficial web-sites. Most provide owners and future owners with useful and no-marketing-BS information.

I'm already questioning this vehicle, everything except the engine seems outdated. This type of legal action by M&M raises my doubts far far more.

Just might be able to survive without a small diesel pick-up after all.

Anonymous said...

I'm going throw out some assumptions mixed with facts.(as usual). ICANN does internet domains. Perhaps, MnM had that name reserved or being a global company they think this is the Mahindra Planet. Maybe M&M/Mars (the candy guys) will sue Mahindra if they try to use the M&M tag.

Anonymous said...

The Mahindra people have done a very poor job with their own website; it should be the source for the latest and most complete information on their coming vehicles, but it is not. This site has been really good at sifting through the information scattered on the web and presenting what is relevant or interesting. You are doing a great service to all who are interested in Mahindra vehicles in the U.S., and the Mahindra people must be idiots to interfere.
pee wee

dick said...

Chris, I just ran a check and they haven't trademarked this name.
You can have it all to your lonesome and tell 'em to pound a bag of sand if you'd like.

http://www.trademarkia.com/trademarks-search.aspx?tn=mahindra+planet&fs=01/01/1960&fe=06/05/2010&pri=012&gs=&cn=&st=2

Hi Andy!
All my love!

Alan said...

Mahindra - If you have a brain and read people reactions, apologize and work with Winfield. This site and the Mahindra Truck Forum has people like me excited and waiting for your product.

Mahindra, if your marketing campaign is to create silience about your products, then have your high tech advertising company create their own buzz, it will backfire. Many of us will be angry at you and lash out on the internet.

The only other reason I can think of for doing this is if your company cannot handle honest open dicussion, and your products are crap.

dick said...

"Mahindra - If you have a brain and read people reactions, apologize and work with Winfield. This site and the Mahindra Truck Forum has people like me excited and waiting for your product.

Mahindra, if your marketing campaign is to create silience about your products, then have your high tech advertising company create their own buzz, it will backfire. Many of us will be angry at you and lash out on the internet.

The only other reason I can think of for doing this is if your company cannot handle honest open dicussion, and your products are crap."



And Mahindra? I can promise you guys that I'll personally rip you a brand new ass for your bullying tactics that'll consumers will see for years, and you'll won't be able to do a damn thing about it..

Don't believe me?

Google "Mahindra Threatens and Bullies Independent Blogger" tomorrow morning.

Have a nice day!

Dick

Anonymous said...

i've been tracking this blog for a while, after find this site to be one of the only reasonable, and independent voice of the mahindra introduction to the US market.

mahindra has just gone down a coupla notches in my book. i really don't know if i want to buy one now.

cWinfield said...

To clarify; neither of the names in dispute are MahindraPlanet.com. Not yet anyway. Mahindra’s argument infers that ANY use of the name “Mahindra” in ANY domain name could be claimed by Mahindra if they feel so inclined. So, if someone bought the domain MahindraSucks.com for instance, Mahindra could claim it as their own.

Anonymous said...

Mahindra’s argument infers that ANY use of the name “Mahindra” in ANY domain name could be claimed by Mahindra if they feel so inclined.

A quick Wiki search shows that Mahindra is also the name of a city, an mountain, and "the son of Emperor Ashoka and proponent of Buddha's teachings in Sri Lanka". If the auto manufacturer is seriosuly claiming (for example) that the city Mahindra cannot use Mahindra in a domain name ... I wonder how long the judge will laugh before kicking them out of court.

Teki Setsu said...

Ok, so why buy a truck from such a clueless company?

How many people are changing their minds now?

Bill Peschel said...

Never heard of them until this moment, but now, when I hear of their name in the future, I'll remember this.

Great job, Mahindra!

Paul Havemann said...

I've been through the UDRP process, and won. Assuming you want to challenge it (and you don't actually need a lawyer), you have a damn good chance of winning.

They're doing this because 1) their lawyers are idiots who should know better, and 2) it's cheaper & easier than filing a trademark suit -- which they'd lose. Win this and they'll leave you alone.

You should read this FAQ -- see esp. "the [three] grounds on which the complaint is made." Keeping in mind they must convince a panel on ALL THREE grounds, here are my thoughts:

1) They need to prove that your use is 'confusingly similar' to their trademark. They may prevail on this one, but they won't on the next two, which are intended to stop domain squatters and web spammers.

2) Your writing provides you "legitimate interests in respect of the domain name" in that you are writing about their vehicles.

3) There is no "bad faith" because of your subject matter. They can't prevail unless they can convince the Panel that you're trying to cash in on their name. You're not, and that's your best defense. Even if your ads covered your costs, it shouldn't be an issue.

Did M&ML elect for a single-member Panel or a three-member Panel? If the former, it would be to your advantage to opt for (and pay for) a three-member Panel, because you get to submit panelists for consideration. Research is needed to find similar cases in which they sided with the defendant. Time-consuming but really worthwhile.

There's a LOT of free info on this -- Google away. And good luck.

Eli said...

For whatever it's worth, this is the first I've heard of Mahindra - and because of the company's complaint, it isn't in a good light.

Neat that they're into both trucks and electric cars, though.

Matt Groom said...

Wow. I mean, I was willing to accept the waiting for the launch date, but I really don't think I'll be buying from a company that prosecutes people for putting up fan sites. If they can be this stupid over something so obvious, how good can their engineering possibly be. I think I'll buy a Subaru instead.

Anonymous said...

My opinion on this is simple: I don't like thugs. I really don't like manipulative thugs. I really really don't like manipulative thugs that foul commerce with deliberate legal overreach. I really, really, really don't like manipulative thugs that foul commerce with deliberate overreach using clearly bullshit arguments that inflict costs on individual bloggers with limited resources. I won't buy anything produced by "executives" stupid enough to pay legal staff that create non-issue issues to justify their existence/billing. If you are that stupid, you can't possibly provide and nurture the engineering, organization and business acumen to make and support complex vehicles. I will never buy anything from these punks, no matter what the quality of their products...and I was interested. Now I am not. I will also provide my opinion and links to this site on numerous other blogs.

Kev said...

If the auto manufacturer is seriosuly claiming (for example) that the city Mahindra cannot use Mahindra in a domain name ... I wonder how long the judge will laugh before kicking them out of court.

This kind of thing has been tried before; Polo Ralph Lauren sued Polo Magazine--yes, a magazine about the sport of polo--claiming it infringed on their trademarked line of clothing.

I hadn't heard of Mahindra either until this story, but they've just received an Instalanche worth of bad publicity.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly the kind of attitude to expect from Indians. Are you ever surprised at the sheer ingratitude, lack of courtesy and personal hygience that these same cretins display....yeap these are the monkeys replying to you when you call Dell support. Welcome to vindaloo hell.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that the guys at M&M are on a different "planet" (sorry for the bad pun) ... my information is that they have been driving the folks at Global Vehicles USA crazy ... by not having much USA-perspective on many issues ... and not listening to the folks from Global when they have offered that perspective!

mohamadhanif said...

U have a good blog...

But u can change u Url to what u like.
example http://cat-and-girl.blogspot.com/ can change to mesothelioma-alert.co.cc.
But the distination still same.

visit here for get a new domain for u blog

domain-myname.co.cc

cWinfield said...

Thanks to everyone who has commented or shown their support in other ways. I sincerely appreciate it. Thanks in particular to Dick, Paul, and all the others that have offered personal support. I have submitted my response to Arbitration today. Should know in a couple of weeks what the outcome is. I'll certianly post it here. Thanks again, everyone.

Anonymous said...

Anand Mahindra is probably the only good thing this company has going for itself. They've built 3 odd boxes to date and have years to go before being recognized as a competitor to the Toyota's, Nissan's, Suzuki's, Ford and just about every other brand on the planet. I guess, arrogant and just plain dumb is what describes the chaps at this firm best.