After spending the last several weeks in court, Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc. (SMRi), a South Dakota nonprofit corporation and the official stewards of the STURGIS® brand, today heard a unanimous and overwhelmingly positive verdict in a lawsuit filed by SMRi several years ago. Wal-Mart, Rushmore Photo and Gifts and its officers, were found liable for infringement of SMRI’s trademarks STURGIS®, STURGIS BIKE WEEK®, STURGIS® Composite Design Mark, STURGIS MOTORCYCLE RALLY™, and STURGIS RALLY AND RACES™, dilution of SMRi’s STURGIS® mark, violations of the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act on seven different internet domains, false advertising, and unfair competition. The jury unanimously found against Rushmore on its claims of fraudulent registration and interference with business relations.
“We’re very happy with the result,” says Rod Bradley, SMRi board member. “We are grateful to the jury and their service. We, as a board, think it’s just, and we’re glad this ordeal is over so we can get back to concentrating all our efforts on promoting the rally, and the local charitable community endeavors SMRi was founded on.”
Thousands of retailers around the world carry licensed STURGIS®-brand products every year, and, through royalties generated from those sales, SMRi is able to donate funds to benefit the local Sturgis community. In keeping with its stated mission to “maximize the value of the intellectual property of the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™ on behalf of the greater Sturgis area,” SMRi donates each year to Sturgis® Rally Charities Foundation, who then disperse funds to literally dozens of local charities that have come to depend on revenues generated by SMRi licensing.
Causes helped include Sturgis elementary school after-school programs and PTA, the Sturgis volunteer fire department, Sturgis Public Library, Sturgis Area Arts Council, Sturgis Alliance of Churches, and many many more.
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc., enjoys widespread community support, as well as official endorsements from The City of Sturgis City Council and the Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce.