The Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Cobb Cole law firm earned a hard fought victory on behalf of the City of Daytona Beach and the surrounding communities yesterday. United States District Court Judge Mary Scriven issued an order prohibiting one local company and two apparently related New York companies from claiming exclusive ownership of the term “Daytona Beach Bike Week” and threatening others with prosecution if they did not pay for the use of the name.
Ironically, the co-plantiff in this case, Good Sports, is on the other side of the fence in Sturgis South Dakota where the company owner sits on the board of SMRi, (Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc) a group that says it owns the trademark to the term “Sturgis” in conjunction with motorcycles and motorcycle events, and has threatened litigation against local businesses in the Black Hills, many who have used the mark for years, unless they pay SMRi a licensing fee.
SMRi is opposed by a group of local businesses in the Black Hills headed up by Rushmore Photo and Gifts. More after the poll
Daytona Regional Chamber Chairman of the Board, Thomas J. Leek, who is also a partner with Cobb Cole, enthusiastically endorsed the decision, “In our minds this was always a fight to protect our business community, our City, and the greater community at large, and specifically to fight off the Defendants’ attempt to take something that wasn’t theirs … and then charge people for using it. This ruling ensures that the mark will remain the property of the City of Daytona Beach and the community at large, for all local businesses and distributors to use in perpetuity. This is a significant milestone in that it will live as a warning to future trademark squatters, and provide protection for all to continue to enjoy the use the mark.”
The Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce has acted as managers of Bike Week in Daytona Beach since 1988, marking the formation of its Bike Week Festival Task Force. Comprised of over 30 individuals representing a variety of organizations and disciplines from both the public and private sectors, the Task Force acts as stewards of the event and performs many duties and functions geared toward improving the quality of the event and overall experience of Bike Week visitors.
Bike Week Festival Task Force Co-Chairman Bob Coleman was also relieved to hear the news, “This has certainly been a long road but we are delighted that the court has chosen to make a strong statement denying any claim of ownership to what has always been a term freely used by our businesses. This should be a timely relief of a burden hanging over those businesses planning for the 2012 event.”