Background story: Following a 2008 raid and indictment of 79 Mongols, a judge issued a preliminary injunction that ordered members to forfeit all clothing and motorcycles that bear the organization’s logo. Members were barred from selling, distributing or wearing any of the insignia. The indictment claimed that the Mongols were tied to the 2005 shooting of a firefighter at a “Toys for Tots” Christmas charity drive. For three years, the club challenged the restraining order stating through its attorney that the government can’t seize the club’s logo. It was the first time the government had gone after a group’s trademarked logo.
Attorney for the Mongols George Steele successfully argued that ” The Group is a motorcycle club. It’s a fraternal organization of men. They may be bigger, tougher and prone to have disputes, the same as likeminded clubs. They’re still an organization.” He said that “the motion raised concerns over trademark laws and the government exerting power trying to seize intellectual property” A federal judge in Los Angeles this week struck down the government’s request to seize control of the Mongols Motorcycle Club’s trademarked seal and patch. U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright III said the government could not seize the trademark, because it legally belongs to the club, which had not been charged as a whole.