It had been 20 years since Silver Streak manufactured travel trailers, the aluminum-bodied brand launched in 1946. Entrepreneur Ellie Dillon acquired the rights from former Silver Streak owner Rolf Zuschlag in 2016, writes David MacNeal in RVPRO.
Ellie and her husband, Phillip, along with a team of aircraft builders, determined to bring back the once-famous Silver Streak aircraft body trailers and began to reimagine the trailer with various designs. That’s when it caught the attention of Airstream, owned by Thor Industries. Soon after, the Dillons received a cease-and-desist letter, which explained how Thor’s Airstream had a trade dress mark for the trailer’s design.
The trade dress mark document approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) states: “The mark consists of the combination of the color silver as applied to travel trailers and a configuration of the trailers comprising generally quarter-spherical leading roof lines and an overall curvilinear appearance.”
However, Ellie Dillon, a former professional athlete, remained undeterred. For years, the Dillons had restored vintage trailers by Silver Streak, Aero Flite, Airstream, and Vagabond Coach for resale, possibly starting a trailer museum, as well as traveling across the U.S. and Europe.
So, applying that know-how to upgrade Silver Streak into the 21st Century was a no-brainer for Ellie Dillon. The reimagined product line would come with upgrades and improvements, creating a trailer that could be shared over generations.
After receiving the letter from Thor Industries, she took the matter to the Florida Southern District Court. Lawyer in hand, a date has been set in federal court for August 2019.