Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc. (SMRI) announced the filing of a federal trademark infringement lawsuit in Georgia against Kent Mortimer, Renegade Classics and the owners of a Buford, Georgia Renegade Classics retail store to protect the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™ trademarks. SMRi and its volunteer board are the non-profit stewards of the trademarks pertaining to the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™.
The complaint filed in federal court details Mortimer’s and Renegade Classics’ infringing use of the term “Sturgis Rally Week” on apparel products, which infringes on SMRi’s rights in the Sturgis Bike Week®, Sturgis Motorcycle Rally™ and Sturgis® trademarks. By using “Sturgis Rally Week” without the license or permission of SMRi or its licensees, Mortimer, Renegade Classics and the Buford, Georgia storeowners confuse customers about the source of the products and deprive the City and the citizens of Sturgis of royalties due from officially licensed merchandise.
“SMRi was established to spur economic development in the Black Hills region and to bring money back to the community through charitable contributions derived from sales of official licensed merchandise. When Renegade Classics and its agents use the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally trademarks without having a license, less money will go back to the community and we can’t stand for that,” said SMRi Board Member and City of Sturgis Councilman David Hersrud.
SMRi will continue its fight against entities that infringe on the Sturgis trademarks to help protect and preserve the Sturgis brands so the community can continue to thrive and enjoy a tangible return from the world’s largest motorcycling event. The organization also continues to press its lawsuit in federal court in South Dakota against Rushmore Photo and Gift and its proprietors, and against Wal-Mart Stores, for their unlawful and unlicensed use of the terms “Officially Licensed Sturgis” and “Sturgis Motor Classic” on souvenirs they sell.