Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc. Obtains Judgement Against Little Sturgis Rally & Races

Kentucky Group Will Change its Name and Pay the South Dakota Community Oriented Non-Profit for its Previous Unauthorized Use.

Sturgis, SD (May 31, 2011)- Officials with Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc. announced today that they have settled the lawsuit with a Kentucky entity formerly billing itself as the “Little Sturgis Rally.”  As a part of the agreement, the Kentucky group has agreed to change both its corporate and trade name, eliminating the word mark Sturgis® when used in connection with a motorcycle rally or any other derivations of marks that may be confusingly similar to those owned by SMRi.   The Kentucky group also agreed to accept a Consent Final Judgment and a Stipulated Permanent Judgment in favor of SMRi and paid the South Dakota community oriented non-profit an “undisclosed sum,” according to Dean Kinney, Chairperson of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc.

“Our organization is charged with promoting and enhancing the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally while providing a charitable return for the greater Sturgis area, and part of that responsibility is to protect the intellectual property of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc. from unauthorized use, infringement and counterfeit goods and services,” said Kinney.

The lawsuit began several years ago when SMRi’s predecessor, the Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce, became aware that the Kentucky event was continuing its unauthorized use even after an attempt by a former associate of the Kentucky organization to federally register the name “Little Sturgis” was rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  Longtime Black Hills-area banker John E. Johnson, a board member of SMRi, said the group is committed to protecting the Sturgis Rally. “Tourism is extremely vital to the economy of the Black Hills, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a crown jewel for the industry,” Johnson said. “Motorcycle tourism in the Black Hills and the Sturgis® brand are both at risk if we allow unauthorized use of these valuable marks.  This is not something of importance to just Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc. but indeed to the hundreds of Black Hills tourism businesses and jobs that exist, in part, because of the worldwide notoriety of the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally.”

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc. is the owner of the portfolio of trademarks and service marks related to the world-famous event, including the word marks STURGIS® and BLACK HILLS ® when used in connection with Rally goods and services.  The City of Sturgis is a licensee of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc. and is authorized to sell sponsorships using the intellectual property of the organization.  SMRi also has about a dozen official licensees for a wide- variety of products.  Distributors and retailers of STURGIS® and BLACK HILLS® Rally-related merchandise can be certain they are purchasing authorized and officially licensed merchandise of the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally, simply by sourcing it through a licensee.  “The tourism season is here,” commented Kinney “and we anticipate a strong year for the industry and especially for the hundreds of retailers that sell our products. We appreciate their business and that of the hundreds of thousands of consumers that seek out and purchase the products of this remarkable and historic brand.” Questions regarding the licensing program of the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally can be directed to Lisa Weyer, a Licensing Agent for SMRI, at 605.347.5336 or Lisa.Weyer@SturgisProducts.com.

Read the Whole Document below

Consent Judgment and Permanent Injunction – SMRi v Little Sturgis Rally & Races for Charity Inc. 05-23-11

 

Arkansas Launches Civil War Trail by Motorcycle

With state budgets shrinking, tourism departments across the nation are seeking novel ways to lure travelers this summer.

Arkansas is leading the charge by combining history and motorcycling with a tie in to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  They’re hoping a new Heritage Trail created to make battle sites easily accessible by motorcycle will give them a much needed bump in visitors to the state.

Eight Civil War campaigns in the southern state are designated on the trail produced by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.

A brochure with a map lays out how those on motorcycle can visit the battle sites and pay tribute to the men who lost their lives in the Civil War by traveling along similar routes as those taken by the troops.

The first 1,000 bikers to travel on all eight routes will get a commemorative “I Rode the Civil War Trail Arkansas” patch. Their road trip will also be chronicled on the state’s tourism website, state tourism officials said.

The state’s Civil War sites include Prairie Grove, one of the most intact Civil War battlefields in the nation, where Union and Confederate troops saw intense fighting on Dec. 7, 1862.

Other trails featured on the map for motorcyclists lead to Pea Ridge and follow the Little Rock Campaign, the Attack on Pine Bluff, the Confederate Approach to Helena, the Camden Expedition, Price’s Raid and Ozark to the Battle of Fayetteville.

Motorcycle tourism is a popular way to explore rural locations around the United States and states are urging businesses to become biker-friendly by opening up spots designated for motorcycles and creating patches and stickers for enthusiasts’ gear.

The Arkansas effort was announced at the 37th annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

Other Civil War sites to see on a motorcycle.   Civil War Travel

Visit the most infamous Civil War POW Camp, Fort Sumter in Motorcycle Journeys Through the American South.