Sturgis Rally Trademarks Litigation. Kent Mortimer’s Answer To SMRI.

The same way I published SMRI (Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc.) official statements against the group “Concerned Citizens For Sturgis” and specific attacks on one of its members – Kent Mortimer – regarding litigation about the Sturgis Rally Trademarks, I publish, as is, Kent Mortimer’s answer to SMRI. If you wonder why both groups talk so much in advance of a judge decision on the validity of the Sturgis trademarks obtained by SMRI, it’s of course to try to rally on their side the local population and merchandise vendors of the industry.   

“Jerry Berkowitz – Volunteer or Profiteer? Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc. (SMRI) has a board of eight members who are all touted as “unpaid” volunteers.  Two of these board members, Jerry Berkowitz of Hot Leathers and Jim Burgess of Black Hills Harley-Davidson, fought and opposed the trademarking of the name Sturgis for many years.  Why, after years of litigation, did they suddenly switch sides and now sit on the board of an organization that is doing what they previously opposed?

I just got my Hot Leathers 2012 wholesale catalog in the mail.  44 pages of this catalog are exclusively selling Sturgis rally related items (pages 254-297).  This section starts with the Sturgis T-shirt labeled “# 1 Design” and goes on to list long sleeve T’s, ladies tops, sweatshirts, patches, magnets, shot glasses, hats, can koozies, ash trays, sunglasses, flags, etc…  I’m sure you get the idea.  Jerry berkowitz is making great deal of profit with Official Sturgis rally products!  When they tell you it’s not about the money – it’s about the money!

How did Jerry from Manchester, Connecticut, get such a sweetheart licensing deal?  Dozens, if not hundreds, of other vendors who have sold at the Sturgis rally for years, can’t get a license from SMRI!  The legal problems SMRI is now having is due to the secret deal that was made with Jerry and Hot Leathers and Jim and Harley-Davidson.  To have these two individuals on SMRI’s board is a complete conflict of interest!  They are there to feather their nests. SMRI is like a beautiful house.  Everything looks great from the outside.  But, when you get down in the basement and look at the foundation, it’s full of wood rot and termites!  Certainly not the pretty picture SMRI paints of unpaid volunteers helping the Sturgis community.  Every existing vendor should have been grandfathered in and licensed to make and sell Sturgis products.  There would have been no need for expensive legal action that takes money away from the Sturgis community. Thanks again to all of the bikers, vendors, Sturgis campground and bar owners, South Dakota citizens and businessmen who have joined together to fight SMRI.  Please feel free to forward to anyone you feel would find this information beneficial” Kent Mortimer, Concerned Citizens For Sturgis.

7 Responses to “Sturgis Rally Trademarks Litigation. Kent Mortimer’s Answer To SMRI.”

  1. 1 Harry Feb 15th, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Black Hills war!

  2. 2 Buffalo Ray Feb 15th, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Regarding charities, independent organizations already raise a lot of money and give each cent raised. Not SMRI with a few making a profit on merchandise. Hope the judge will cancel all these abusely obtained trademarks. Power to the bikers.

  3. 3 Richard Semprey Feb 15th, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Berkowitz = money, not charity.

  4. 4 Roger Feb 15th, 2012 at 11:36 am

    …and during this time lawyers get richer and SMRI is going to use the lawsuit excuse to not give to charities what they were supposed to give. Shame.

  5. 5 bigalyts Feb 16th, 2012 at 8:45 am

    It is all about the American Dream, not the Gift!

  6. 6 Sturgis Pride Feb 16th, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc. has had several names in the past, all linked to one individual, Dean Kinney. All those apposed to SMRI, lets create an info graph showing the amount of money Dean Kinney and his cohorts have spent on lawyer fees over the last 8 to 10 years vs the amount of money this same consortium has raised for the Sturgis Community. I bet this graph would make people fall off the back of their chairs in dismay. Dean Kinney is the one who needs to be regulated, not the Sturgis Rally and its marks.

  7. 7 sasha Feb 23rd, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    The words Sturgis and the Black Hills are geographic locations and should have never been allowed to be trademarked. These words belong to the community and to the people. They should never belong to an organized group. Yes, these were ABUSIVELY obtained trademarks.

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Cyril Huze