Plaintiff Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc. (“SMRI”) did not provide the jury with sufficient proof that its unregistered marks “Sturgis,” “Sturgis Motorcycle Rally,” and “Sturgis Rally & Races” marks were valid marks that acquired secondary meaning, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has ruled, reversing a district court’s judgment that a gift shop and three individuals willfully infringed and diluted the marks. Although SMRI subsequently obtained registration of the mark “Strugis” in 2011, the presumption of validity did not apply at the time of the defendants’ alleged infringement and SMRI failed to offer sufficient proof for the jury to find secondary meaning. The Eighth Circuit, however, affirmed the district court’s judgment of trademark infringement and dilution pertaining to SMRI’s registered “Sturgis Bike Week” mark and its registered “Monahan” design mark for the rally because the marks were entitled to a presumption of validity when the infringing use occurred (Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc. v. Rushmore Photo & Gifts, Inc., November 2, 2018, Arnold, M.).

Case date: 02 November 2018
Case number: No. 17-1762
Court: United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.


To make sure you do not miss out on regular updates from the Kluwer Trademark Blog, please subscribe here.

Kluwer IP Law

The 2022 Future Ready Lawyer survey showed that 79% of lawyers think that the importance of legal technology will increase for next year. With Kluwer IP Law you can navigate the increasingly global practice of IP law with specialized, local and cross-border information and tools from every preferred location. Are you, as an IP professional, ready for the future?

Learn how Kluwer IP Law can support you.

Kluwer IP Law
This page as PDF

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *