After several weeks in court, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc., the official stewards of the Sturgis brand, won their court case against Wal-Mart, Rushmore Photo and Gifts and its officers. In the lawsuit SMRi accused the defendants of infringing on the Sturgis trademark. More specifically, the defendant was 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.”
According to an SMRi press release, “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.