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Fleetwood Folding Trailers Inc., a subsidiary of Fleetwood Enterprises Inc., will appeal a Kansas state court’s recent ruling requiring Fleetwood to stop using the Coleman brand name on its towable RVs.
The Kansas court ruled on Monday (Aug. 18) that until the dispute between Fleetwood and The Coleman Co. is concluded, “Fleetwood entities and all related parties are temporarily enjoined from any ongoing use of the ‘Coleman’ (trade) mark,” according to a statement issued today (Aug. 22) by Fleetwood.
“While the appeal is pending, the Fleetwood entities fully intend to comply with the temporary injunction,” according to the Fleetwood statement. “The Fleetwood entities intend to request an expedited hearing regarding the appeal.”
Fleetwood and its folding-trailer manufacturing subsidiary in Pennsylvania have, under the terms of a licensing agreement, built towable RVs under the Coleman brand name since 1989.
The Coleman Co., a manufacturer of camping and outdoor equipment, now is a unit of American Household Inc.
In May, Coleman terminated the licensing agreement it had with Fleetwood and the two companies have been fighting in court since then over the decision.
“Notwithstanding the outcome of the appeal, Fleetwood Folding Trailers intends to vigorously pursue its claims against The Coleman Co. due to what it believes was Coleman’s wrongful termination of the license agreement,” Fleetwood said in a statement today. “Also, Fleetwood Enterprises intends to vigorously pursue its rights received at the time of the 1989 purchase of the Coleman business to prohibit Coleman from using the ‘Coleman’ mark in the RV market. The trial regarding these matters is currently set for December 2003.”
Larry Marsh, a 33-year Coleman folding-trailers veteran and now Fleetwood’s vice president and general manager of the business in Somerset, Pa., said, “We have been operating in substantially the same manner since Fleetwood Enterprises acquired our operation in 1989. We intend to continue to manufacture and sell the highest quality family of folding trailers.”
Fleetwood’s operation in Pennsylvania is the retail market-share leader in folding campers by a wide margin. It had a 42.2% market share during the first half of this year, well ahead of No. 2 Forest River Inc., which had a 15.5% share in the same period, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.