Sturgis Rally Trademark War. Problem Solved. Sort Of.

Any unforeseen event is always a good pretext to sell more tee-shirts. You just have to be opportunist and very fast.

A company called Zazzle tries to cash in on the Sturgis Rally trademark controversy by selling this official/unofficial 2011 Sturgis Rally tee shirt. You could ask for any print you want in the front.

So, I call again on all lawyers reading my Blog. Can SMRI enforce its trademark and claim infringement by the seller of an unofficial Sturgis Rally tee-shirt claiming to be unofficial in big typo? At Zazzle  (thank you Scooter)

21 Responses to “Sturgis Rally Trademark War. Problem Solved. Sort Of.”

  1. 1 Joe Mielke Jul 28th, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I think I’ll go buy some puffy iron on letters and make my own.

  2. 2 harry wanker Jul 28th, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Cool I want one!

  3. 3 uhl Jul 28th, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    my favorite idea yet

  4. 4 Brad Kerel Jul 28th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    It seems this Berkowitz from the Hot Crap Leathers company is not to be trusted one second. An opportunist looking only to financially profit from the Sturgis name. An interesting comment I just read in the Rapid City Journal.

    “The whole story has not been told. Hot Leathers, Black Hills Harley and Bike Week held the Chamber in opposition for many years. Costing the citizens of Sturgis thousands of dollars in legal fees. Eventually the chamber broke and couldn’t support the debt they assumed when they took over Bike Week and their related debt from their bankruptcy. A deal by the bank in the middle of the night was brokered creating SMRI controlled by Hot Leathers and Black Hills Harley. All intectual property of the rally was turned over from the chamber to SMRI. Hot Leathers and Black Hills HD immediately droped their opposition and were granted full rights to the word Sturgis. In SMRI’s bi-laws there are only a few companies are officially licensed to create Sturgis products, Hot Leathers & Black Hills Hd. Hot Leathers is now sub-liscensing to other manufacturers for a fee. A fee not to SMRI but to Hot Leathers. And…. All shirts at the rally will have tags with a set retail price of $14.95. The average price of a shirt at the rally last year was $10. Don’t be fooled. This is not a good thing. There is so much back door deals and greed that is going on. SMRI is not for the community. I’m sure they will throw a bone here and there, but this non profit is really for profit.”

  5. 5 Donnie Jul 28th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I hear that Hot Leathers is not going to be very well welcomed in most rallies after Sturgis. The guy fights all those who ask for rally trademarks, declaring them illegal, until he gets the opporuinity to get them. I don’t do business with hypocrit opportunists. I will never buy anything from his company. By the way, where is it made?

  6. 6 Hungouver Jul 28th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Looks like the unofficial logo has the official and very protevted bar and shield shape of a famous moco!

  7. 7 Rider2 Jul 28th, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    This t-shirt violates the HD trademark of the bar & shield… If the SMRI doesn’t go after this company, HD will …..

  8. 8 Unkl Ian Jul 28th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    The “bar and shield” was stolen from a branch of the German military, before WWI.

  9. 9 Steve Kelly Jul 29th, 2011 at 1:25 am

    What happened to just riding around the black hills, drinking a few cold ones with your buddies and sitting around a campfire at night? That is my idea of the perfect Sturgis.

    We are the ones in charge! Do you really need a T-shirt to remind you that you went to the rally? Forget the shirt, put some more gas in the bike and ride, ride, ride

  10. 10 cyclereckr Jul 29th, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Amen to Steve Kelly.
    The greed of a few is ruining the world!

  11. 11 Larry R Jul 29th, 2011 at 8:01 am

    I second Steve Kelly’s post! It is about riding and being with like minded people. Have fun everyone. Love and respect……..Larry and Esther

  12. 12 biker64 Jul 29th, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Having a business in the bike market that sells similar products to Hot Leathers. I can vouch that the owner of Hot Leathers are a bunch of sneaks and crooks. At every trade show we exhibit at. Hot Leathers is sniffing around my booth hours before the show opens to see what we have new. They have gone through closed boxes looking for my catalogue. When they saw me coming the scattered in all directions. Jerry walks the trade shows looking for small new companies that don’t know his reputation in the bike industry. Offers to distribute their innovative new product sells it for a year if he sees good sales. He changes the look or concept just slightly and starts selling the guys product himself. Never ti buy from the small company again. Hot Leathers owns their vending property at every major rally. So the only way to hurt them is to boycott their products so he won’t have the funds to back his illegal trademarks
    Greed and Deceit are to staples of Hot Leathers business philosophy.

  13. 13 Joseph Jul 29th, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Jerry Berkowitz didn’t get what he wanted, more money. Exactly the opposite. It looks like the trademarks are going to cost him a bunch. Justice.

  14. 14 teesnpants Jul 29th, 2011 at 8:46 am

    We don’t want people like Berkowitz around us in rallies. Period. This guy is not a biker. Just trying to suck bikers out of money by all means he can find.

  15. 15 Brandon Jul 29th, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Looks like Hot Leathers is in a very hot seat.

  16. 16 Jg hardtail choppers forever Jul 29th, 2011 at 9:07 am

    In the criminal world there is a saying , ” greed will get you busted “. Jg

  17. 17 T Bone Jul 29th, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I don’t buy shirts at dealerships or rallies.
    Support your local independent shops and buy a shirt from them.

  18. 18 jim h Jul 29th, 2011 at 10:34 am

    starting to remind me of the tv show “DEADWOOD” …all the fighting and bickering, everyone fighting for scraps and a bigger piece of pie… COOL ! when do the six shooters start flying from the holsters…!

  19. 19 just my opinion Jul 29th, 2011 at 10:59 am

    This guy will no doubt find himself in the middle of a lawsuit if not with SMRI for sure with HD. Just another example of greed. Someone thinking he can make a fast buck off of someone elses logo and on top of that someone elses Trademark with that logo. This guy obviously does not know anything about Trademarks and the penalties for stealing them. I am pretty sure he will get a fast lesson fairly soon tho. I hope if he has anything to lose this is just a joke because other wise he is digging a hole he will not like trying to climb out of. What is next start a Cyril Huze Blog and advertise his new items?

  20. 20 Jeff Nicklus Jul 30th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    This is going to be soooooo much fun in the Black Hills this year I can hardly wait~!

    Over & Out,


  21. 21 rallyvendor Aug 12th, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    I used to buy from Hot Leathers until they started selling at just above wholesale on some products at rallies. Just slightly above what they charge me for in quantity. They also theatened a vendor that I was sharing a tent with in laconia. He was selling tees for less than Hot Leathers and was told to raise his prices or he would not be back. I informed the General Mgr about this when I informed them I would no longer be their customer and they denied it happened in Laconia. Kind of funny, as I never told my sales rep where it occured. They are scum bags. They have cheap crap anyway, that is way overpriced.

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Cyril Huze