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Gander Mountain and Cabela's Head to Court | News

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Gander Mountain and Cabela's Head to Court

 Two big name sporting goods stores are going head to head, in court.

Minnesota based Gander Mountain, and its hugely popular competitor, Cabela's are in a legal battle.

St. Paul based Gander Mountain has been a premier sporting goods store for more than 50 years. But with anything, comes competition, and Cabela's is exactly that.

The two stores have a history:

  • Gander Mountain sold its mail order business to Cabela's in 1996
  • In 2007 Gander Mountain won a lawsuit to resume online sales
  • Earlier this year, Cabela's sued Gander Mountain for patent infringement over a fold-up cot they were selling

"I wouldn't be surprised if this lawsuit is in some way related to that, a way for Gander Mountain to gain some leverage and hopefully the two lawsuits will both be settled," said Hamline Law Professor Sharon Sandeen.

On Friday another lawsuit was filed. Gander Mountain claims Cabela's is cyber-squatting. If you type in GanderMountainCatalog.com or GanderCatalog.com into a browser, domain names that have actually been owned by Cabela's for nearly 15 years, you'd think you'd go to Gander Mountain's website, but instead it takes you to Cabela's.

Sandeen says while Gander Mountain has some substantial claims, they have to prove Cabela's profited, and that may be difficult.

The only way Gander Mountain can prove profiting is to say they (Cabela's) benefited because of sales at Cabela's website. What Cabela's will probably argue is that they weren't using the mark as a trademark, if people happen to type it in and find it, so be it," says Sandeen.

So what does this mean for consumers?

Sandeen says it's bad to mislead shoppers, but what is misleading is not a foregone conclusion.

We reached out to both companies. Cabela's told us they could not comment. Gander Mountain never returned our calls or emails.


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