Featherlite, Inc.

Featherlite Inc. is a North American leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing high quality aluminum ATV trailers, car haulers, car...

Defense of Featherlite, Inc. Against Trademark Infringement

Featherlite Inc. is a North American leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing high quality aluminum ATV trailers, car haulers, car trailers, specialized transporters and custom mobile marketing trailers. One of its trailer lines, SuperStock™, was not protected as a registered trademark and a competitor began using the name. Merchant & Gould was retained to fight for Featherlite’s brand.

Case Summary

Featherlite has hundreds of models, including standard and custom bumper pull, gooseneck and living quarters trailers – all available through the largest dealer network in the industry. One of Featherlite’s popular livestock trailer lines, called SuperStock™, was not protected as a registered trademark. A competitor adopted the SuperStock name for its own livestock trailer, creating confusion in the marketplace and diluting the Featherlite brand’s value. Although the Featherlite brand was not protected as a registered trademark, Featherlite believed this was a clear case of trademark infringement considering that the company had been using the name for nearly two years.

Strategy

After a thorough examination of Featherlite’s market position and brand viability, Merchant & Gould initiated aggressive enforcement by filing for a registered trademark on behalf of the SuperStock™ brand (which was subsequently granted) while simultaneously sending a cease-and-desist letter to the defendant. When the defendant refused to comply, Merchant & Gould immediately filed a complaint and a motion for preliminary injunction to enjoin the defendant against further damage to Featherlite.

Solution

Merchant & Gould’s work resulted in a complete win for the client. The defendant discontinued using the mark on all of its products. They also paid all of Featherlite’s legal fees. The entire process took less than five weeks, as the defendant relented prior to a judge’s decision.

Merchant & Gould Team

Andrew S. Ehard

Heather J. Kliebenstein

Scott W. Johnston


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