The hunted has become the hunter… General Motors, fresh from winning its copyright battle against Jeep, wants to stop Avanti from building what it calls a "knock-off" of the Hummer H2 SUV.

The hunted has become the hunter… General Motors, fresh from winning its copyright battle against Jeep, wants to stop Avanti from building what it calls a "knock-off" of the Hummer H2 SUV.

A prototype of Avanti’s military-inspired vehicle, named the Studebaker Xtreme Utility Vehicle (XUV), was recently unveiled at the Chicago Motor Show. Avanti chairman Michael Kelly said the massive SUV, which is strikingly similar in its boxy and menacing shape, would go on sale in August. But not if GM has its way...

In November last year, the world’s largest automotive manufacturer was on the winning side of a copyright infringement case involving DaimlerChrysler’s Jeep brand.

At the time, the US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Hummer H2’s grille did not infringe on Jeep’s right of trademark. DaimlerChrysler had pursued a protracted legal campaign to stop GM from using the H2’s grille design, which the US-German manufacturer claimed had seven vertical slots - thus looking too much like the traditional Jeep grille.

Having defended the design of its Hummer behemoth, GM’s lawyers have now filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit, in a US district court in Detroit, to stop the Studebaker in its tracks.

"It is clear that Avanti Motor Corporation is attempting to profit from the enormous popularity that GM has developed in the wildly successful H2 by knocking off the H2," Charles Ellerbrock, a trademark lawyer for GM, said earlier this week.

However, Avanti has said plans to roll out the Studebaker would move forward, despite the lawsuit filed by GM.

"There will not be any confusion on the part of the car-buying public," said Kelly. "Put both vehicles side by side, and there's no question that the Studebaker XUV is distinctly different."

Kelly stated that Avanti Motors never considered using GM, Hummer or H2 designs for their Studebaker XUV. It was also noted that no GM parts were used to build the new Studebaker XUV.

A spokesman for Avanti said that the Studebaker was more than 600 mm longer than the H2, and featured a rounded bonnet, distinct front grille, and unique body moulding.

Kelly said GM's lawsuit was “frivolous”, adding that it was presented to the small manufacturer in order for GM to create a monopoly on the market of utility-type vehicles.

Original article from Car