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Old 03-12-2006, 11:46 PM   #1
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Airstream trademark and brand

With the latest Airstream lawsuit over trademark infringement, I thought it might be interesting to show other trademarked items that THOR might want to consider going after for "brand dissolution" trademark lawsuits.
If a pair of gloves represents a trademark infringement, what about these other products (all found on the US Trademark Office Web Site.

This current lawsuit os over a pair of gloves...
The lawsuit Link report
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Old 03-13-2006, 06:37 AM   #2
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Interesting!

I guess Thor has a lot of lawyers on staff that they have to keep busy! As I recall, a trademark infringement suit must, to be a success, show that the use of the offending mark would tend to cause confusion to a normal consumer.

I don't really think that a pair of gloves or a respirator with the name 'airstream' will confuse a consumer looking for a travel trailer....but who knows in this litigious society that we live in today
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Old 03-13-2006, 07:32 AM   #3
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Watch your back..

The cost for infringement, whether it' be a trademark or patent, to the losing party can be hugely substantial.
Just take a look at the recent RIM/NTP Blackberry chaos.
Now MS is going after RIM for it's new email feature, claiming yet another case of infringement..
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Old 03-13-2006, 08:39 AM   #4
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The Ancient Caravanner upgrade package ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
Interesting! I guess Thor has a lot of lawyers on staff that they have to keep busy! As I recall, a trademark infringement suit must, to be a success, show that the use of the offending mark would tend to cause confusion to a normal consumer. I don't really think that a pair of gloves or a respirator with the name 'airstream' will confuse a consumer looking for a travel trailer....but who knows in this litigious society that we live in today
Lew:

Airstream, Inc. already sells a bunch of clothing: t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, jackets, etc., so the public might be confused if someone else began selling Airstream brand gloves, so goes the argument.

Airstream, Inc. does not yet sell respirators. But I have heard rumors they are planning to offer a new trailer option package called "The Ancient Caravanner" that will include two oxygen bottles with a regulator, a pill organizer and dispenser, heart paddles, a respirator, and logo wristbands with a built-in GPS signaling device for those with Airzheimers who wander away from the campsite and need to be located. These target customers tend to be naturally confused, so this will be a far easier trademark case to prosecute and win, provided they don't stack the jury with them.
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Old 03-13-2006, 09:24 AM   #5
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I'm going to bet that they don't want to take on 3M. That might be a little more litigation than their team of lawyers want to jump into. Let's just sit and watch.
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Old 03-13-2006, 09:34 AM   #6
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The Blackberry ruckus is a patent issue, not trademark. While both are intellectual property, the situations are quite different.

The Airstream RV company has recently been very aggressive in trying to protect their trademark. The linked article mentions the last suit in 1988 that indicates the settlement was a matter of what some call legal extortion - it was cheaper to just let Airstream RV have its way. Airstream RV has been taking a similar stance in regards to websites and others as well. From what I have seen so far, their initial efforts were incompetent. But that doesn't mean they cannot frighten people into compliance.

The issue of sporting gear is interesting. Airstream RV is not in the sporting goods or clothing industries and that makes its case for brand dillution rather vague. Its sales of such merchandise is that of advertising and not that of branded merchandise. The 1988 case did not settle this issue, though.

If you check the Trademark registry in Ohio, you will see several companies have protected the Airstream brand in their industries. The logos above also illustrate this. Airstream has to pick on the weak or weakly committed in order to have success, I think. Thor is getting big enough, though, that near anyone else might be considered weak by comparison.

Another factor that folks, especially website owners, should keep in mind is that trademarks involve monetary activity. Without commercial intent there is no trademark infringement. There might be copyright infringement, but that is another can of worms.

I think Airstream RV is dilluting its own brand in its product line and harming its brand by overzealous threats.

Usual caveats apply. I am not a lawyer nor an expert in this area and can only offer personal opinion. IP law is a specialty and even the experts there have a lot to argue about.
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 47WeeWind
Lew:

Airstream, Inc. already sells a bunch of clothing: t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, jackets, etc., so the public might be confused if someone else began selling Airstream brand gloves, so goes the argument.

Airstream, Inc. does not yet sell respirators. But I have heard rumors they are planning to offer a new trailer option package called "The Ancient Caravanner" that will include two oxygen bottles with a regulator, a pill organizer and dispenser, heart paddles, a respirator, and logo wristbands with a built-in GPS signaling device for those with Airzheimers who wander away from the campsite and need to be located. These target customers tend to be naturally confused, so this will be a far easier trademark case to prosecute and win, provided they don't stack the jury with them.
Oh goodness. Don't forget the free sky med passes.
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Old 03-14-2006, 07:43 AM   #8
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Having been on both ends of lawsuits involving trademark infringments, I can appreciate Thor's stand on the issue. Harley-Davidson came within a whisker of losing the H-D logo due to the fact that they did not take issue with companies pirating the brand/logo on non-related products. A farfetched example might be a trailer mfg that decided to call a new a new model an Aire Streame. Thor would send out the lawyers and the defendent would point to some obscure company that has been using the Airstream name for years and Thor never bothered to send a cease and desist letter to said company, therefore they (Thor) didn't bother to enforce their trademark rights.

NASCAR, H-D, Budwieser and the NFL are on top of this issue with a vengance.
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Old 03-14-2006, 09:28 AM   #9
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"A farfetched example might be a trailer mfg that decided to call a new a new model an Aire Streame." -- I don't think that would be far fetched. That would be a classic case of trademark infringement.

But A/S appears to have some awareness of its brand as well as its trademark. See the PSA in the thread
http://www.airforums.com/forum...ept-21320.html
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Old 03-14-2006, 10:00 AM   #10
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[quote=lewster]Interesting!

I guess Thor has a lot of lawyers on staff that they have to keep busy!

No wonder Airstream MSRP's are climbing!
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Old 03-14-2006, 01:13 PM   #11
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Who stole the name from whom?

Chrysler Airstream

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



The Chrysler Airstream was a model of automobile produced by the Chrysler Division of the Chrysler Corporation during model years 1935 and 1936. The Airstream was a conventional looking automobile that was trimmed to evoke a feeling of streamlined design. A similar car, with the same Airstream name was also sold by Chrysler's companion brand DeSoto during the period.
The creation of the Airstream was an outgrowth of the unpopularity of the streamlined Chrysler Airflow program which consumers failed to embrace. The Airstream was based on the 1933 model Chrysler "CO" model which was carried over into the 1934 season as the Chrysler "CA". When the Airflow failed to capture the attention of the buying public, Chrysler retrimmed the "CA", gave the car rear fender skirts, and rolled out a model that they hoped would appeal to depression era buyers. By marketing the Airstream along side the Airflow, Chrysler could meet the needs of the public while hoping to produce enough Airflow’s to offset their development.
During its two years of production, the Airstream out sold the Airflow five to one in its first year, and nearly nine to one in 1936.
Chrysler discontinued the "Airstream" model name for both Chrysler and DeSoto at the beginning of the 1937 model year.


That was a bit before my time. So, which came first, the chicken or the egg?
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Old 03-14-2006, 09:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 47WeeWind
Lew:

Airstream, Inc. already sells a bunch of clothing: t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, jackets, etc., so the public might be confused if someone else began selling Airstream brand gloves, so goes the argument.

Airstream, Inc. does not yet sell respirators. But I have heard rumors they are planning to offer a new trailer option package called "The Ancient Caravanner" that will include two oxygen bottles with a regulator, a pill organizer and dispenser, heart paddles, a respirator, and logo wristbands with a built-in GPS signaling device for those with Airzheimers who wander away from the campsite and need to be located. These target customers tend to be naturally confused, so this will be a far easier trademark case to prosecute and win, provided they don't stack the jury with them.
I hear ya! I guess that the 'oxygen bar' custom Airstream that was on e-bay might have just been the prototype for the model of which you speak!!!
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