Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc. Trademarks. Wal-Mart Added To Lawsuit.

SMRi, the group who owns the Federal Trademark Registration in relation to Sturgis Rally goods and services has obtained from a Federal judge to add Wal-Mart Stores as a defendant in its lawsuit to protect its registered trademarks for “Sturgis” and “Black Hills.”

Last June, SMRI sued Rushmore Photo and Gifts Inc. arguing that it owns the trademarks. with Rushmore Photo & Gifts contending that the terms are geographically descriptive and shouldn’t be trademarked. The Wal-Mart store in Spearfish, South Dakota is selling T-shirts bearing the “Sturgis Motor Classic” logo with tags that say “Officially Licensed Sturgis” and “Authentic Sturgis”. Wal-Mart’s  spokesman Greg Rossiter states that Walmart also believes, like Rushmore Photo & Gifts’s owner Brian Neimann, that the rally has no valid or enforceable trademark rights to the name “Sturgis.”

Zipper's

18 Responses to “Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc. Trademarks. Wal-Mart Added To Lawsuit.”


  1. 1 BobS Apr 26th, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Just a bunch of suits fighting each other over who gets to squeeze bikers out of a few more hard earned dollars. I think it’s time bikers tell them both where to get off. If I want a memento from a rally I’ll take a picture, or buy a part from a vendor who actually makes stuff for bikes. If I need a t-shirt…Hanes plain white. If I want it to say Sturgis…sharpee.

  2. 2 Luis Apr 26th, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Walmart’s legal dept. is larger than most big law firms. Someone’s poking the bear.

  3. 3 Joe Apr 26th, 2012 at 8:49 am

    SMRI is going to lose its trademarks. Bet?

  4. 4 The Supreme Team Apr 26th, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Now this is simply funny. I’ll take $20 on Wal Mart Joe. This should be the be all end all with SMRI

  5. 5 Brutus Apr 26th, 2012 at 8:59 am

    This is the story of SMRI, a group of greedy people, spending in lawyer fees all the money they took from vendors and bikers and end up losing their abusive trademarks. Karma.

  6. 6 Patrick R. Apr 26th, 2012 at 9:06 am

    SMRI, the most hated people in the Black Hills. What a bad idea to challenge Wall Mart.

  7. 7 TattooedNTx Apr 26th, 2012 at 9:38 am

    And the rich get richer…sad state of affairs…

  8. 8 Steve Hog Radio Producer Johann Apr 26th, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    You would think Wall Mart would understand the legal side of Copyright laws so will be interesting how things go and how Corp Wall Mart plays along,

    Now lets think about this for a moment, every store and private campground with store from Devils Tower to Yellow Stone to the whole region sell graphic T-shirts with Sturgis and Black Hills on them. Are these guys going to hit up dozens maybe hundreds of store owners who sell this stuff to tourists be they riders or non riders when they come through as a reminder of their trip?

    Greed is indeed a powerful thing. Oh and yea I quit buying shirts years ago too, I take pictures and buy postcards instead.

  9. 9 SilentRider Apr 26th, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Bye Bye smri spent all the money and more to defend a copyright they should never had gotten in the first place. I think I will copyright NewYork, LosAngelis,SanFransisco, yeah and chicago too I will getthem.

  10. 10 Johny Apr 26th, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    S.M.R.I. means Sturgis Motorcyclists Robbery Inc?

  11. 11 Jason Hallman (Steelchoppin) Apr 26th, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    This seems preposterous. “Hey lets kill a great rally with a bunch of litigious ridiculousness”.

  12. 12 biker64 Apr 27th, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Also be aware that the Good Sports / Hot Leathersn. Jerry Berkowitz is trade marking every biker saying he sees out there and claiming he is the first one to use it. Example, Live fast or Die, Choppers for Life, Lone Wolf. Biker Baby, Biker Bitch plus other rally names. So if you do a design with a biker and put Live Fast he has his lawyers on you in a heart beat. He is also taking designs from companies who do biker shirts in Europe coping the designs exact and copy righting them here in the USA as his original creation There was a
    French guy claiming that he created the original yellow smily face and he sued Walmart for using as their mascot. Walmart won and still uses the Smily face till this day. Walmart is not stupid they know SMRI does’nt have a chance of keeping their trademark. Boycott Hot Leathers and all the other greedy bastards trying to capitalise on bikers

  13. 13 Will Apr 27th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Money at any cost seems to be the current mantra for a lot of larger businesses today. Some smaller businesses follow this equation too.

    With this news, we can see that SMRI’s greed just got the best of them. In the end all we can hope for is that SMRI will get what it deserves.

  14. 14 DUHL Apr 27th, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Im loving this, 2 grotesque fat monsters clawing for another couple pounds of flesh. keep me posted , thanks cyril.

  15. 15 Troll Apr 27th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Maybe…just maybe, it’s time for US, the riders, to quit going to “them” to have their kind of “fun”…What would they fight over if nobody came to spend money? I went to Sturgis in ’83…stayed 3 hours, bought a t-shirt, and never looked back. 300,000 miles since then….ITS A MOTORCYCLE…YOU RIDE IT!!!!

  16. 16 David May 2nd, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    How many .50 Cent t-shirts made in India do you have to sell for $20 to pay for all the lawyers and tie up the courts over bragging rights? Lets get on to the important stuff ! Like putting away the killers and pedifiles out there.

    SSDD;David

  17. 17 Axel May 11th, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Just for the general knowledge, the guy who created the yellow smiley face was American and never attempted to trademark it.

  18. 18 Mike Corbin Jul 2nd, 2012 at 11:52 am

    wally wins this one..

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