Forest River Drops Lawsuit Against Winnebago

It started a little over a year ago when Forest River filed a lawsuit against Winnebago Industries, citing  “trademark and trade dress infringement and unfair competition” in regards to Winnebago’s introduction of the Winnie Drop. Forest River contended the Winnie Drop was “confusingly similar” to their R-pod, citing consumers who couldn’t differentiate the two trailers.

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According to INiplaw.org, Winnebago’s legal representative “Overhauser Law Offices, LLC, filed a partial motion to dismiss with the court, arguing that Forest River had neither sufficiently identified the features that constituted the claimed trade dress nor provided any factual support for its assertion that such features were non-functional.” Furthermore, “The court agreed with Winnebago, concluding that Plaintiff had relied on “conclusory and meaningless” assertions in its pleadings. Consequently, it granted Winnebago’s motion and dismissed without prejudice Forest River’s claims concerning trade dress infringement under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §1125(a) as well as similar claims made under common law.”

As a result of this, Forest River withdrew its suit against Winnebago. According to an article in RV Pro today, “Overall, more specific details needed to be provided for the lawsuit to constitute trade dress infringement. For this reason, Winnebago asked to dismiss Forest River’s claims, which the company and judge then agreed to on Feb. 14”.

What does this mean? Simply, expect more R-pod type trailers to hit the market by other manufacturers. The R-pod is the top selling trailer under 20′ and expect even more manufacturers to now aim for a piece of that pie without fear of Forest River’s legal team. We’re already seeing new units hit the market since the Winnie Drop came out, including offerings from KZ, Keystone, Jayco, and Starcraft.

I know this has been a hot button topic for many of you, especially you loyal R-pod devotees. If there’s a good thing to come out of this, expect the added competition in this class to improve the quality and options among all the manufacturers in an effort to rise to that number one spot where the R-pod currently sits. I’ve always been a firm believer that competition makes you up your game, and this alone will benefit the consumer. And in the end, isn’t that what really matters?

 

4 Comments

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4 Responses to Forest River Drops Lawsuit Against Winnebago

  1. Diane Hackett Carlton

    Hmmm. Two different profiles and people can’t tell them apart? The Winie looks more like the Lance than the R-Pod. And the old saying about imitation being a sincere form of flattery might be something to think about.

  2. Alan

    Don’t forget, with all these lawsuits, it’s funny because T@B was the first and Forest River was going after that!

    -Alan

  3. Pingback: Forest River drops lawsuit against Winnebago

  4. Liz

    Hi, I have really enjoyed looking through your site.

    You might be just the person to ask – I am looking for a small tandem axle travel trailer with a walk around queen bed and rear living or Dinette. The Gulfstream 19ERD is almost perfect, except it is only one axle. Are there any campers that fit the bill?

    Right now I have a 2008 Cruiser Fun Finder that is marvelous! But I would like a rear window and a bed I don’t have to climb into.

    I have done a lot of mods that you might enjoy looking at.

    Thanks for any info,
    Liz

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