Daytona Bike Week Trademarks. Last year, a New York-based holding company under the name of Mettemp Inc. registered the trademark Daytona Bike Week and began legal action against vendors using these terms. Immediately the regional Daytona Bike Week Chamber Of Commerce and “Good sports Of Daytona” took together a legal action to prevent this company of having any exclusive ownership of the term “Daytona Bike Week”. On Wednesday December 20, 2011 the Daytona Regional Chamber has won a landmark decision for the community: the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Cobb Cole law firm earned a hard fought victory on behalf of the City of Daytona Beach and the surrounding communities. United States District Court Judge Mary Scriven issued an order prohibiting one local company and two apparently related New York companies from claiming exclusive ownership of the term “Daytona Beach Bike Week” and from threatening others with prosecution if they did not pay for the use of the name
The judgment rendered by Court Judge Mary Scriven against the holding company Mettemp Inc. is that this company could not receive the trademark ownership “Daytona Beach Bike Week” because “Daytona Beach Bike Week” and its functional equivalents are generic and can only belong to the community and not to any one person or entity. The final judgment is canceling the defendant attempt to trademark the term “Daytona Beach Bike Week”, and finds that the registration of the phrase “Daytona Bike week” as a trademark was fraudulently obtained or, alternatively, was improperly granted.”
And of course, such a court decision will be used by the opponents of the Sturgis Rally trademarks whose owner, the SMRI Group, is currently defending a lawsuit by “Concerned Sturgis Of Sturgis” for cancellation of their trademarks also allegedly obtained fraudulently. It is interesting to note that Jerry Berkowitz (Good Sports) can be against any Daytona Bike Week trademark in Daytona, but after fighting all trademarks in Sturgis for the same reasons (the rally belongs to the community, to nobody else) has changed his tune to become one of the owners, inside the “Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc” group, of the Sturgis trademarks owners and currently printing the licensed Black Hills/Sturgis Rally logo merchandise!
Sturgis Rally Trademarks. As I reported last week, Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc. (SMRI), owner of several Black Hills rally trademarks since the beginning of the year, made donations of $50,000 to a total of 35 local charities. Immediately, trademark opponents commented that these donations are just a small part of the big profits made by SMRI during the Sturgis 71th edition last August, with opponent “Renegade Classic”‘s owner Kent Mortimer even declaring that what SMRI is doing “is almost a Ponzi scheme when they take money from the city and give back much less, then take all the money from the licensing fees with none of what is collected from T-shirts and buttons going back to the community.” For all those we are interested by the facts and allegations regarding this conflict with details about how much money is received and donated and to which organizations, Dealernews Magazine did a great investigation and report that you can read by jumping to Opponents Question Trademark Group’s Charity Donations.
Whatever the way SMRI collected licensing fees during the 71th edition of the Sturgis Rally and is now distributing monies to local charities, it seems to me that the Daytona Chamber Of commerce landmark win against any entity trying to trademark “Daytona Bike Week” sets a strong legal precedent for the Sturgis trademarks legal battle currently going on between SMRI and “Concerned Citizens Of Sturgis.” Were Sturgis Rally trademarks also fraudulently obtained and/or improperly granted to SMRI? A court decision should be rendered beginning of 2012.