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Eight Circuit Reverses Finding that Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Trademarks are Valid

On Friday, November 2nd, the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued a decision in Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc. v. Rushmore Photo & Gifts, Inc., et. al. which reversed various parts of the lower court’s decision in the trademark infringement case brought by Sturgis, which claimed to own trademarks covering merchandise related to a well-known motorcycle rally which has taken place in Sturgis, SD, going back to 1938. While the appellate court affirmed the district court’s denial as a matter of law to the defendants’ as to Sturgis’ claims of deceptive trade practices, false advertising and trademark infringement claims, the Eighth Circuit reversed the lower court’s findings that various marks asserted by Sturgis were valid because it found that Sturgis didn’t provide the jury with sufficient proof regarding validity.
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