Common Law Unfair Competition, Damon R. Leichty, Federal Trademark Infringement, Michael G. Gotsch, State Trademark Infringement
Both parties in this trademark infringement lawsuit are recreational vehicle (“RV”) manufacturers from Indiana. Did you know that Elkhart, Indiana is the RV Capital of the World?
The Plaintiff is Forest River, Inc. of Elkhart, Indiana. They began using the unregistered DELTA TERRA trademark in connection with recreational vehicles in March 2018. Their “mountain” logo was adopted shortly after in April 2018.
The Defendant is inTech Trailers, another RV manufacturer from the Elkhart region. They allegedly introduced a new line of RVs called “Terra” in November 2020, along with its own mountain design.
The Plaintiff first notified Defendant of its allegedly infringing activities in December 2020 but there has been no cessation of activity. The Complaint (below) asserts that some of Defendant’s leadership has past ties to Plaintiff, so there may be more to this story than meets the eye. However, even judged at face value, the marks do seem similar. Any distinctions in the mountain designs would certainly be blurred and possibly indistinguishable as these RVs roll by you on the highway. Even if understood to be different product lines, a consumer might reasonably think that both “Delta Terra” and “Terra” RVs emanate from the same manufacturer.
The Defendant has been aware of the Plaintiff’s objections since December 2020, so they should be ready to defend their trademarks and will be expected to file an Answer soon. Stay tuned for updates.
Forest River, Inc. v. inTech Trailers, Inc.
Case Number: 3:21-cv-00645-DRL-MGG
File Date: Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Plaintiff: Forest River, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Philip R. Bautista, JoZeff W. Gebolys, Tracy N. Betz, Stephanie A. Kortokrax of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Defendant: inTech Trailers, Inc.
Cause: Federal Trademark Infringement, State Trademark Infringement, Common Law Unfair Competition
Court: Northern District of Indiana
Judge: Damon R. Leichty
Referred To: Michael G. Gotsch, Sr