Harley-Davidson Plunges To New Low!!!
This is what happens when an honest indy shop gets in the way of HD. I know these fine folks (and Glock owners) and HD wanted them out of the way. HD's claims were manufactured to bury them in to bankruptcy so they could expand.
October 17, 2005
Cody cycle shop prevails in trademark case
Gazette Wyoming Bureau
CODY, Wyo. - The owners of Cody Custom Cycle are in hog heaven after a lawsuit filed by Harley-Davidson alleging trademark infringement was dismissed last week on the eve of pre-trial hearings.
Harley-Davidson Motor Company Group, Inc. filed suit in U.S. District Court in Casper against Cody Custom Cycle, also known as 10-94 Enterprises LC, and owners Ray Burns and Kathy Redish.
Filed in July, the company claimed that Cody Custom Cycle used the Harley-Davidson trademarked name and images without permission, a charge the owners and their attorney denied then and now.
"We always said we'd done nothing wrong, and they never proved otherwise," said Burns. "We were right then, and we're right now, and we're not changing the way we do business."
Attorney Laurence Stinson represented Cody Custom Cycle and said the case was "dismissed by the court after the parties agreed to a certain resolution."
He said, "One of the things they were sued for was selling Harley parts and using the name to say they service Harley motorcycles, and they continue to have that right."
Redish said she's glad to have the issue behind her, particularly since she and Burns, who are married, were named personally in the case.
"It was my ultimate fear that they would end up with everything I owned, including my horse," she said. "But we've received tremendous community support."
She said local people and bikers passing through donated money to a legal defense fund for the shop, which has been in Cody since 1994.
And though she regrets being forced to bear the cost of mounting a legal defense, she credits Stinson with "championing our cause and going beyond what other attorneys would have done."
Redish said publicity about the lawsuit, which was filed shortly before thousands of bikers passed through Cody on their way to an annual gathering in Sturgis, S.D., may have helped pressure Harley-Davidson to drop the matter.
"People would come in and ask if we were the shop Harley was suing," she said. "And when we said 'Yes' they'd want to buy something. It's our belief it backfired on Harley."
Burns said he was happy to avoid a protracted trial with costly delays.
"Anyone can file a lawsuit and bleed you dry," he said. "Harley has an army of lawyers and our resources are very finite. We always knew we'd win, but we were afraid we'd be having our victory party in a cardboard box."
Harley-Davidson, a century-old brand with a devoted following, has a policy of aggressively defending its trademarks. It saw revenues last year of more than $5 billion, with $224 million in sales of clothes and general merchandise, according to the company's 2004 annual report.
In 1994, the company applied for a trademark on what it claimed was the distinctive sound of its motorcycles. Competitors contested the filing and after six years of debate, Harley-Davidson dropped the claim.
Representatives from Harley-Davidson did not return messages left over the weekend.
Copyright © The Billings Gazette, a division of Lee Enterprises.
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