A federal judge yesterday rejected DaimlerChrysler#;s bid to halt the introduction of General Motors#; 2003 Hummer H2, clearing GM to launch the $US50,000 sport-utility vehicle next July, the Detroit News reported.

The newspaper said that DC wanted to stop GM from using a seven-slot grille on the H2, claiming it was a copy of its own trademarked Jeep grille.

But, during an injunction hearing in South Bend, Indiana, last month, DC did not convince US District Court Judge Robert L. Miller that the H2 and its grille will irreparably harm the Jeep brand, the Detroit News said.

"DaimlerChrysler has virtually no chance of showing a likelihood of consumer confusion between the Jeep Wrangler and the H2," Miller said in his decision, according to the newspaper.

Miller said that DC "waited far too long" to challenge the Hummer grille which has appeared on the original Hummer since the early 1990s and the military Humvee, the Detroit News said.

However, the newspaper added, the lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial in December with DC saying in a statement it is contemplating an appeal of Thursday's ruling and "looks forward to presenting its complete case" in December.