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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > Australian Winnebago has to change name

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burlmart

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Posted: 07/29/12 11:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"Until 2010, --Mr. Knott of Wallaroo-Go, used the name Winnebago-- safe in the knowledge that US-based Winnebago Industries Inc had shown little interest in exporting their motor homes to Australia --since 1970--.

However, in 2010 the American company began sniffing around the Australian market. In October of that year, Winnebago Industries Inc demanded that Knott cease using Winnebago trademarks."


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RobertRyan

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Posted: 07/29/12 01:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

tatest wrote:

Winnebago, Jayco, other U.S. companies who have had their brands used in Australia have known about it for a long time, but just couldn't do anything about it under Australian law.


That is absolutely false. Only countries that do not respect international Copyright Laws are Rogue States and one Communist dictatorship.The penalties for breaking International copyright is pretty severe.
Jayco Australia is an affiliate of Jayco in the US, not the same Company.
Winnebago US's action have come from a downturn in the US RV Industry and the success of the local company. There have been rumors about trying to export products here. I believe Winnebago Australia, bought rights to use the name in Australia and they could only export their products to New Zealand. That is why the Court case in the first place.
Trade treaties are not an impediment in enforcing copyright law.

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Posted: 07/29/12 05:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

burlmart wrote:



How success attracts contempt.

Why doesn't AU Winnie ship some Ducato Lowline Eyre models over here and see how fast US Winnie seeks a partnership.



Just look at the picture. The entry door to the coach area and the driver's position on the right means it would never work here. They would have to use left hand drive chassis and flip-flop their floor plans to make any inroad to the U.S. market, that is if you could get that FIAT chassis U.S. certified to begin with.


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RobertRyan

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Posted: 07/29/12 06:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

W4RLR wrote:

Just look at the picture. The entry door to the coach area and the driver's position on the right means it would never work here. They would have to use left hand drive chassis and flip-flop their floor plans to make any inroad to the U.S. market, that is if you could get that FIAT chassis U.S. certified to begin with.

That is a given anyway. US Motorhomes have to comply(converted or built) to RHD and Australian regulations anyway.
Chrysler is interested in getting the Ducato certified in the US. I spoke to a dealer who said nothing was finalized as yet and he is happy to sell his 100 motorhomes a month and let Winnebago Australia work out a strategy if need be.

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Posted: 07/30/12 05:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Company spokesman Max Mayo said earlier this year that Australia's biggest motorhome company expected to record its second successive record financial year after topping 600 sales last year. Meanwhile, the big American motorhome company plans to move into the Aussie market with its behemoth homes on wheels

RobertRyan

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Posted: 07/30/12 05:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Update to the story One reason the Australian Motorhome industry is NOW more interesting to Winnebago US.A Few errors there are other companies as big and the market is increasing year after year.
http://www.carsguide.com.au/news-and-rev........uide&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=carnews

Quote:

Company spokesman Max Mayo said earlier this year that Australia's biggest motorhome company expected to record its second successive record financial year after topping 600 sales last year. Meanwhile, the big American motorhome company plans to move into the Aussie market with its behemoth homes on wheels


burlmart

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Posted: 07/30/12 07:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RobertRyan wrote:

Company spokesman Max Mayo said earlier this year that Australia's biggest motorhome company expected to record its second successive record financial year after topping 600 sales last year. Meanwhile, the big American motorhome company plans to move into the Aussie market with its behemoth homes on wheels


So this is how the US will go green and still profit from the manufacture of products that are highly fuel-inefficient...Hmmm, reminds me of how we passed laws to promote healthier lungs in the US via anti-smoking laws, yet maintained corporate tobacco profits via building demand for cigarettes in developing countries abroad - plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose....

burlmart

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Posted: 07/30/12 08:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

US Weenie-Dingo vs AU Walaroo-Go with BBC narration...May the nobler party win!

NewsW

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Posted: 07/30/12 08:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

burlmart wrote:


Why doesn't AU Winnie ship some Ducato Lowline Eyre models over here and see how fast US Winnie seeks a partnership.

But awaiting such merger, if they want suggestions for a minor change in spelling in a good substitute name, how about

Wallaroo-go



The AU Ducato model can be named Weeniedago?


Oh what about Weeniedingo?


Wallaroo-go is only for the export model to India.




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Posted: 07/30/12 12:31pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RobertRyan wrote:

tatest wrote:

Winnebago, Jayco, other U.S. companies who have had their brands used in Australia have known about it for a long time, but just couldn't do anything about it under Australian law.


That is absolutely false. Only countries that do not respect international Copyright Laws are Rogue States and one Communist dictatorship.The penalties for breaking International copyright is pretty severe.
Jayco Australia is an affiliate of Jayco in the US, not the same Company.
Winnebago US's action have come from a downturn in the US RV Industry and the success of the local company. There have been rumors about trying to export products here. I believe Winnebago Australia, bought rights to use the name in Australia and they could only export their products to New Zealand. That is why the Court case in the first place.
Trade treaties are not an impediment in enforcing copyright law.




The first issue in law is whether the trademark is registered in Australia.

Bet you that Winnebago did not do so in Australia, and therefore, cannot seek recourse under the Trade mark law.

Next, can the term be copyrighted?

Probably not, because it can be argued that the term is a generic term that refers to all RVs.

The key is that Australian Wannabego was tried and lost under the Australian Consumer Law, which only came into effect in 2010 superseding the state and territorial laws prior.

Before that, Winnebago would probably have to take action under the laws of each individual Australian state or territories.

Now, Wannabego was found to violate the "passing off" tort:

Quote:

The tort of passing off applies where there is a representation that a person’s goods or services are those of someone else. To establish passing off, the plaintiff must prove a misrepresentation made by a trader in the course of trade to prospective customers or consumers that is intended to injure the plaintiff's business or goodwill and that caused actual damage to the plaintiff. The misrepresentation can be about the name of the product or the image that is presented by the product. The tort of passing off is not confined to the traditional concepts of trade names and trademarks. It includes such things as slogans and visual images where they have become part of the goodwill or reputation of the product.

The Trade Practices Act creates a statutory tort that can be used in addition to, or in substitution for, the common law tort of passing off. The Act prohibits deceptive or misleading conduct by a corporation. It is only necessary to prove that the conduct occurred in the course of trade and commerce, and that it is misleading or deceptive, or likely to mislead or deceive.



Had the name been legitimately used in Australia (and clearly not representing themselves as in any way affiliated with Winnebago USA, they COULD have argued that the term Winnebago is generic, such as the term "Scotch tape" and therefore, is no longer a brand, but a reference.

Terms that are in danger of being dropped into the generic include, e.g. "kleenex", or have passed into generic like "scotch".

In my view, easier for them to settle and move on...

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