Fighting over 'Winnebago'

A Knott Investments unit said it will appeal an Australian court ruling last month barring the company from using the Winnebago name associated with the U.S. maker of motor homes.

"Ours is a family-owned business that has been trading as Winnebago since we first acquired the business name in Australia in 1978," Ben Binns, director of Knott's Winnebago (Australia) unit, said Wednesday. "We truly believed we were able to use the Winnebago name in Australia given the written agreement we had."

Winnebago Industries, the U.S. maker of motor homes, won a July 30 court order prohibiting Knott from using the Winnebago name in Australia, as it has been doing for at least 30 years. Federal Court of Australia Justice Lindsay Foster said at the time that Knott founder Bruce Binns "intentionally hijacked" the Winnebago name to prevent the U.S. company from entering the Australian market.

Knott began manufacturing recreational vehicles and selling them under the Winnebago name, either in 1978 according to Binns, or 1982, according to Winnebago.

- Bloomberg

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