Originally posted by Buck Lovell on Saturday, 24 March 2012 in Buck Lovell's - American Biker Blog
STURGIS TRADEMARK DISPUTE UPDATE
This is a quick update for all of you following the court action that Concerned Citizens for Sturgis (CCFS) is taking against Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc. (SMRI) in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. On March 2, 2012 our attorney, Phil Hampton, filed a request for documents that lists 59 items that SMRI needs to produce. SMRI has 30 days to produce the asked for documents. Phil has also created a list of people who he will be taking depositions from. That work will start shortly. Most of the people on Phil's list have sold souvenir rally merchandise bearing the words "Sturgis" and "Black Hills" for many, many years. Some have provided samples and pictures of their products going back through years of past rallies. Should reporters and magazine Editors wish to speak to Phil directly, his contact information is:
Phillip G. Hampton, II Partner – Dickstein Shapiro LLP 202-420-2664
Depositions will be taken until this summer at which point we hope to get a date set on the USPTO calendar for the trial. It is not a jury trial. It is tried by judges that work for the USPTO. SMRI needs to come up with proof that they were the only ones using these two marks before everyone else. If, as we at CCFS believe, they lied to have these marks registered, the court will then repeal SMRI's registration!
SMRI normally uses two tactics to cloud the issues. First, by painting anyone that opposes them with a black hat and saying they don't support the Sturgis community and are just "greedy" vendors. Secondly, saying that the rally and Sturgis charities cannot survive without the money brought in by their licensing program. When this trial comes before the court the judges will only be looking at the facts:
Did SMRI use the words "Sturgis" and "Black Hills" before all of the other many vendors who have sold at the rally for years? We are looking forward with great anticipation to our day in court. If SMRI has evidence they will need to submit the documents we asked for before the 30 day period is up.
Thanks to all who are supporting CCFS. Please keep the donations coming. I will update you as more action is taken and information becomes available.
Join the fight to keep the words "Sturgis" and "Black Hills" free for all to use. Go to both www.concernedcitizensforsturgis.org and Facebook "Concerned Citizens for Sturgis" page.