Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. and its subsidiary, Fleetwood Folding Trailers Inc. in Pennsylvania, are prepared to go to trial to resolve a dispute over the use of the Coleman brand name, Fleetwood announced today (July 17).
Fleetwood acquired the Coleman folding camper business and the right to use the Coleman brand name on RVs in 1989. Those assets were acquired from The Coleman Co., now a unit of American Household Inc., formerly known as Sunbeam.
However, late last year, Coleman raised several issues under Fleetwood’s licensing agreement, including the method for calculating royalties, according to Fleetwood.
The two companies were in discussions until May 12, when Coleman attempted to terminate the agreement and demanded that Fleetwood stop using the Coleman name.
Fleetwood then sued Coleman in Kansas state court seeking an injunction to prohibit Coleman from licensing the Coleman name to any other RV manufacturer.
However, Fleetwood reports the court ruled last Friday (July 11) that the matter should be resolved with a trial in Kansas, instead of by way of injunctive relief.
“Fleetwood intends to continue to pursue the matter aggressively and expects that the trial will occur sometime in calendar year 2004,” the company reported today.
“We have been operating in substantially the same manner since Fleetwood acquired our operation in 1989,” said Larry Marsh, vice president and general manager of Fleetwood’s Somerset, Pa.-based division and a 33-year veteran of Fleetwood/Coleman.
“We believe there have been no material breaches of the license agreement and we believe the court will rule in our favor,” Marsh said. “We intend to continue to manufacture Fleetwood folding trailers under the Coleman brand name while this matter is being contested.”