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A Kansas jury ruled in favor of The Coleman Co. in its case with Fleetwood Folding Trailers Inc., awarding the Wichita, Kans.-based firm monetary damages of $5.2 million.
Last month, Fleetwood was granted a permanent injunction against Coleman, barring the company from licensing the Coleman name in the RV industry. Fleetwood said the monetary ruling does not affect that decision.
The suits stemmed from a long-standing business relationship that was severed two years ago. Fleetwood had acquired the Coleman folding-camper trailer business and the right to use the Coleman brand name on RVs in 1989. In late 2002, Coleman raised several issues under Fleetwood’s licensing agreement and ended the arrangement, prompting legal action.
“We are obviously disappointed with the jury’s findings in this case, and we will begin considering our post-trial remedies immediately, which may include a motion for a new trial and an appeal,” Fleetwood President and CEO Edward B. Caudill, said regarding the monetary damages. “Nonetheless, the principal issue in this case in Fleetwood’s estimation has always been that, if the Coleman name is going to be licensed in the RV industry, it must be with Fleetwood, and so we continue to be gratified with the judge’s ruling in our favor on that issue.”
Another issue, however, remains unresolved. In January, Coleman entered into a licensing agreement with Coachmen RV Group, which had proceeded to market the new “Coleman by Coachmen” towable line prior to the injunction.
Responding to the judge’s ruling, Coachmen filed suit against Coleman, attempting to “enforce its rights” to license and market the Coleman brand.
Fleetwood also is suing Coachmen for “interfering with our contractual rights with Coleman.”