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

 

Harley-Davidson Leaves Rapid City, Moves to Sturgis

According to a report in the Rapid City Journal, Harley-Davidson Corporate is ending its 20 year tradition of displaying new models and hosting its HOG members at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and moving it’s base to the Sturgis Community Center.  Brian Maliski, the civic center’s general manager was quoted as saying, My understanding was that the new Harley CEO wanted to be in Sturgis itself.”

Harley-Davidson was paying the Rapid City civic center $31,000 for the 10 day August event.

During the event, the local dealer, Black Hills Harley-Davidson set up and sold merchandise at the Rapid City venue, but not corporate, which only displays new motorcycles.  The dealership was not a part of the discussions or decision to move to Sturgis.

*Added Tuesday April 20th.  Harley-Davidson issued the following press release

Harley-Davidson will move its 2010 rally experience to two all-new locations in the heart of Sturgis, S.D., where the Motor Company will celebrate the 70th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with customers and motorcycle enthusiasts August 6-14, 2010.

The Harley-Davidson Road Tour with the newly released 2011 Harley-Davidson® motorcycles, Genuine Motor Accessories, MotorClothes® merchandise and H.O.G.® members-only pin stop will run from Friday, Aug. 6 through Saturday, Aug. 14 at the intersection of Lazelle and 3rd streets in downtown Sturgis. All Harley-Davidson activities in Sturgis are free of charge.

Harley-Davidson demo rides for 2011 motorcycles will be available in Sturgis at a location near Interstate 90 at Exit 30. More details on the exact location, dates and hours of demo rides and other Harley-Davidson activities in Sturgis will follow in the coming weeks.

“Right smack in the middle of Sturgis seems like the ideal place for Harley-Davidson to spend the week,” said Steve Piehl, Harley-Davidson Director, Consumer Events Marketing. “We recently made a similar move to an outdoor rally experience for Daytona Bike Week this year and it was extremely popular. We listen closely to our customers and believe that they will love the new Sturgis locations for our Road Tour activities, demo rides and H.O.G. pin stop.”

In recent years, most Harley-Davidson activities for the Sturgis Rally had been located in Rapid City, S.D. at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. “We really enjoyed working with the staff at the Civic Center in Rapid City and have been very pleased with the service and facility over the years,” Piehl said. “We feel that our move to Sturgis will give us the opportunity to reach significantly more rally attendees than we could in Rapid City.”