Indiana RV manufacturers Jayco Inc. (“Jayco”) and Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC (“Heartland”) have jointly announced a settlement of the trademark infringement lawsuit filed earlier in the year by Jayco against Heartland. The case had been brought in the Northern District of Indiana, Case No. 3:2009-cv-00171.
The suit alleged that Heartland has violated federal trademark law by adopting the Eagle Ridge name for a line of vehicles. Jayco claims to have held trademark rights in the EAGLE trademark since at least 1991.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, this seemed like a prime settlement opportunity. Heartland just didn’t have enough investment in the Eagle Ridge mark to justify going forward with potentially expensive trademark litigation. In a crowded trademark marketplace, you’re bound to have friction from time to time. It’s nice to see this matter resolve itself before the fireworks began.
Coley Brady, Heartland’s director of sales and marketing, said of the settlement, “Even though Heartland believes its Eagle Ridge line does not infringe upon Jayco’s Eagle trademark, we did not have a significant investment in Eagle Ridge as a name for our fifth-wheel travel trailers. We understand Jayco’s concern and out of respect for Jayco will no longer offer any products bearing the Eagle Ridge name.”
Sid Johnson, director of marketing for Jayco, said, “Jayco has used the Eagle name for nearly 20 years on some of our most popular RV product lines. We are grateful that Heartland is willing to change the name of its new product line to address our concerns in protecting our valuable EAGLE trademark.”
If only every trademark dispute could end so peacefully…