Here we go again: Forest River sues Heartland over copyright

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — In a federal lawsuit filed Jan. 7 by Forest River is accusing Heartland Recreation Vehicles of violating their copyright in creating a travel trailer floorplan last year that was too similar to the company’s RP-176 floorplan.

It is the third time Forest River has filed suit against Heartland since October 2008.

“Heartland became aware of the RP-176 floorplan in 2009 and obtained a copy of that floorplan,” the complaint charges. “Afterward, Heartland copied the RP-176 floorplan into its advertisements for competing travel trailers. Heartland created derivative floorplans based on the RP-176 floorplan and made travel trailers derived from the copied floorplan.”

Forest River said Heartland then attempted to solicit business from Forest River dealers and others in attempting to market the MPG floorplan at last year’s National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.

“Heartland distributed the advertisement (of the MPG product) to potential customers at the RVIA trade show together with other advertisements of its MPG product which were intended to confuse and/or deceive customers into thinking about some connection between Forest River and Heartland,” the complaint read.

Despite being made aware of the copyright infringement in December, Forest River said Heartland continues to infringe on their copyrighted RP-176 floorplan.

Forest River is demanding a jury trial in the case, and the company is asking the court to permanently enjoin Heartland from infringing upon its copyrights. Forest River would like Heartland to provide an accounting of all revenue it received by using the RP-176 floorplan. In addition, Forest River is seeking the seizure and destruction of all infringing products “wherever located in the stream of commerce.”

SOURCE: U.S. District Court for Northern District of Indiana case filing

Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber

A journalist who has covered the recreation vehicle industry since January 2000, Greg Gerber founded RV Daily Report on April Fool's Day in 2009. He also serves as the editor of the publication and website. As an Eagle Scout, he has enjoyed camping for decades and has visited every state except Hawaii. A DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three young women, he has two grandchildren as well. He currently splits his time between Wisconsin, Texas and Arizona. Greg can be reached at editor@rvdailyreport.com.

Leave a Comment

  • Jim Miller says:

    Forest River should use some of this useless effort, and try and correct their warranty department problems with the time and money Petie is spending. Take off your blinders Pete, they are for horses.

  • Rod says:

    Heartland needs to be take the high ground and stop “cloneing”. Every RV manufacture has an R & D (research and duplicate) department that reproduces good ideas and floorplans however, Heartland goes to far. Look at Heartland’s Big Country 5th wheel, it is a “clone” of the Open Range pure and simple. Copying inovation has been and will always be part of the industy because it’s cheaper to copy than paying for creativity. The problem is cloneing… Stop it! Put your own touch, feel and look into “your” product.

  • james boyce says:

    They are so similar outside and in that I thought it was the same company that made both under different names just like ford and mercury. It never even crossed my mind that it was a totally different company.

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