Australian News

Kedron caravans battle Chinese manufacturer

A longstanding Brisbane family business has been caught in a trademark war with a Chinese company that is now using its trusted name on caravans in Asia.

The Gall family have been making and selling Kedron brand caravans in Brisbane since 1962 and were on the cusp breaking into the US market when they discovered a Chinese company had started using their brand name.

The shock revelation comes as the family has battled staying open during the pandemic which saw many grey nomads locked out of Queensland and unable to collect about 30 caravans that had been ordered.

Glen Gall said they were in the process of trademarking their name in the US when COVID-19 hit Australia and they then turned their attention to home where orders were mounting up.

“At the start of the year we engaged a lawyer, because of the growth of interest in America, and we were looking to trademark it there, because you are not going to export to China,” he told NCA NewsWire.

“So it was more about protecting the brand in America than trademarking in China.

“We started the process and then coronavirus hit and we changed our focus, especially for us here where 60 per cent of our orders are interstate, so where we normally have four to five finished vans, we had 30.”

Mr Gall said they only found out about Kedron branded caravans in China after a business associate sent them photos from the trade show.

He said some, not all, of their caravan parts were manufactured in China.

Eaglegate Lawyers trademark lawyer Nicole Murdoch said businesses needed to register trademarks, not only in the country they intend to export to, but also any country where parts were manufactured.

She said it was not just protecting your business against rip-offs.

“You desperately want to protect where you manufacture your product,” Ms Murdoch said.

“What you don’t want is someone coming along where you have a nice cheap manufacturing plant, with all the dyes and things like that you have been using for decades, and comes along and trademarks your brand,” Ms Murdoch said.

“The countries you need to cover are your point-of-sale countries and manufacturing countries.”

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