Daytona Bike Week Trademarks Canceled. Sturgis Rally Trademarks Challenged And Donations Questioned.

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.

18 Responses to “Daytona Bike Week Trademarks Canceled. Sturgis Rally Trademarks Challenged And Donations Questioned.”

  1. 1 Steve Johnson Dec 23rd, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Cyril does a great job showing the facts and how some people’s views change when they are the ones on the inside. These both are true issues of Freedom and often greed pushes people from freedom and rights. It is these time that the court needs to protect the people and what is right.

  2. 2 Kenny Dec 23rd, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Easy bet. SMRI is good to lose its trademarks.

  3. 3 Shifter Dec 23rd, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Jerry Berkowitz (Good Sports/Hot Leathers) is not walking straight. In Daytona he agrees that the rally can only belong to the community. In Sturgis, he said the same thing a couple of years ago, then switched side to belong to SMRI and sued with the group all those using the phrase Sturgis Bike Week without paying a licensing fee. Berkowitz unmasked. Ha, ha.

  4. 4 biker64 Dec 23rd, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I guerss on one hand Jerry Berkowitz is celebrating that he does’nt have to pay a license fee to do Daytona Bike Week shirts. On the other hand he is freaking because his bull sh@t Sturgis trademark is about to fail. Poor Jerry, 2012 does not look like it is going to be a good year for all the thieves at Hot Leathers

  5. 5 Paul Hasher Dec 23rd, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Great report demonstrating how greedy people who are not bikers try to make money on us. Hope S.M.R.I. will lose its trademarks.

  6. 6 Donnie Dec 23rd, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Berkowitz caught in the act. It was time.

  7. 7 Gary Dec 23rd, 2011 at 10:07 am

    SMRI. Deception from top to bottom of the Black Hills. I hope that in addition to have the Sturgis trademarks canceled, the judge will condemn tthis group to refund all licensing fees and pay damages to those shut down and who could not sell merchandise during the last rally.

  8. 8 Darryl Briggs Dec 23rd, 2011 at 11:45 am

    This certainly looks like a good omen for Sturgis, but remember people, don’t just sit on the sideline and wait for the outcome in the courts. A lot of motorcycle people still don’t go to Sturgis but they go to their local rallies. Tell your friends and fellow riders to stay away from Hot Leathers that they are not friends of the biker community. Win, Lose, or Draw in any court case, Jerry will not see one cent of my money. Last year at Sturgis, I only purchased items that were not “Officially” licensed. So my T-shirts say “Black Hills” and “South Dakota” insstead of Sturgis, big deal, I can live with that..

  9. 9 just my opinion Dec 23rd, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Just because Daytona lost their Trademark case does not mean that will happen in Sturgis. Remember these are two totally different cases and will be decided by different judges. From what I understand the Daytona Trademark was filed for just recently ” in the last couple of years” and the company that obtained it claimed they were the first to use that mark. That is why it was considered to have been obtained fraudulantly. But SMRI bought their Trademark from the city of Sturgis. I don’t know how long the city has owned it or if they can lagally sell it but these are two totally different way of obtaining the mark and in no way could put the owners of SMRI at risk of having to pay back anyone for enforcing that Trademark. All Trademarks are considered to be legal and enforcable until a court rules otherwise so even if they lost the case is court you cannot collect any back pay for the enforcement of that Trademark. And as for greed it could be said that the reason those fighting these Trademarks are greedy and that is why they want to brake these Trademarks. To say you are fighting these cases for freedom is bullshit the truth be told you fight these trademarks so that you can feed off of bikers buying your items with the Sturgis name on it
    “plain and simple” I have seen comment in past posting on the website from the folks fighting these trademarks saying that no one buys a shirt just because it says Sturgis but if that were true you would not be so concerned about fighting this case, you would simply just print your eagle designs or mountain designs and sell shirts but the reality is people do want to buy a shirt that says Sturgis or Black Hills Rally with the year on it as well. And that is why you fight this case so that you can make money. “Greed” And so the greed is really on both sides of this issue not just one. I personally don’t care if these Trademarks are good or not because I don’t have a dog in this fight but it does irritate me when someone claims they are fighting for my rights and are asking for donations for that cause when the truth is all they want is to be able to make money and want to use my money to fight their case. Use your own money after all you made plenty of it selling shirts in the past and if you really believe you are right your money spent is an investment in your future so unless you are selling shares in the future profit count me out. And by the way have the people fighting this Trademark ever donated anything to any carity? Not that I am aware of. I say let the courts decide this case and pay your own cost to fight and stop trying to make it a FREEDOM ISSUE WHEN IT IS CLEARLY NOT.

  10. 10 J. Kerr Dec 23rd, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    To “Just My Opinion” You are wrong. It’s not about freedom. It’s about a lot of things as described in this article.

  11. 11 GetReal Dec 23rd, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    JMO are you a vested partner with Blackhills HD or SMRI or Jerry Berkowitz.

    I will not buy anything from Blackhills HD, SMRI or vendors such as you that display there and support this whole trademark debacle.

    The “Greed” is really on your side.

  12. 12 BobS Dec 23rd, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    There’s only one way to settle this. From here on out all bikers should consider logos and rally t-shirts the mark of gay posers. Screw logos, screw trademarks, screw t-shirts. Plenty of other ways to spend the money. Buy performance parts for the bike and give a bigger tip to the bartenders and waitresses. If a Sturgis or Daytona souvenir is that big a deal get a tattoo.

  13. 13 John Williams Dec 24th, 2011 at 7:55 am

    I live in Daytona. I believe that they’re talking about the phrases “Daytona Bike Week” and “Daytona Beach Bike Week”. These can’t be Trade Marked. The Logos can be Trade Marked.

    Ride on

  14. 14 roadhog Dec 24th, 2011 at 9:16 am

    The trademark examiners at the USPTO generally reject any trademark applications that are descriptive. It’s pretty amazing that either of these trademarks were granted. Of course there’s also the common sense angle that neither of these LEs (legal entities) had anything to do with the more than a half century it took to develope these events. Of course common sense is not a factor in legal matters. More like common dollars.

  15. 15 Doug Dec 24th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I love the fact that this website calls out both sides of the stories,from this bullshit of people that want to own something they didnt start to the big bear story.SPEND YOUR MONEY WISELY,AFTER ALL ITS YOURS

  16. 16 concernedbiker Dec 25th, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Good Sports / Hot leathers has also trademarked the following:

    Myrtle Beach Spring Rally
    Laconia Bike Week
    Laconia Motorcycle Week
    Myrtle Beach Fall Rally

    It seems they are trying to corner the market for all the major events. It’s a bunch of crap that these guys are claiming rights to events they don’t own, run, and didn’t start.

  17. 17 Texas Pat Dec 27th, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Is Berkowitz one of those creepy ambulance chasing attorneys?

  1. 1 Daytona Bike Week Trademarks Canceled. Sturgis Rally Trademarks Challenged And Donations Questioned. - Kendon Blog Pingback on Dec 23rd, 2011 at 11:10 am
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Cyril Huze