The Full Federal Court of Australia recently handed down its decision on the appeal by Winnebago Australia for the rights to use the Winnebago name in Australia. The three judges were unanimous in their decision that Winnebago Australia can continue to use the Winnebago name.
Winnebago Industries of Iowa in the United States of America, a company not associated with Winnebago in Australia had, after a period of over three decades, decided to take action to prevent Winnebago Australia from using the name despite Winnebago Australia having launched the first Winnebago branded motorhome in 1978 and being a signatory to an agreement with the US company.
Legal action was commenced by the USA giant in 2010 to take possession of the Winnebago name in Australia and the Federal Court decision handed down in July 2012 decided in favour of the overseas manufacturer.
Winnebago Australia appealed the decision which was heard by the Full Federal Court of Australia on March 26 and the appeal judges decided that Winnebago Australia can continue to utilise the Winnebago name on its products and marketing activity.
“The court’s decision is very pleasing and vindicates our position in this matter”, said Mr Ben Binns, Director and CEO of Winnebago Australia. “The company has been in our family for 48 years and being Australian owned, our goal is to support manufacturing in Australia and of course our very loyal Australian workforce and customer base”.
Earlier this year, the company took appropriate steps to launch another brand, Avida. “We wanted our own Australian identity and I believe that we have been very successful in launching the Avida brand in Australia and New Zealand”. “Avida is the brand which we intend to go forward with into the future” Mr Binns said.
Winnebago Australia will continue to promote the Avida brand on its products, and to assist in providing further credibility to Avida, the company will promote Avida as the makers of the Australian Winnebago, linking the company’s heritage since 1965 to the newest motorhome brand on the market.