Monday, January 13, 2014

Hells Angels rigorously enforce their trademarks, against Tinseltown

Browsing the New York Times for reporter Serge F. Kovaleski, I found an article, dated Sept. 28, 2013, that sounds significant in the trademark dilution debate.  The story is titled “Despite Outlaw Image, Hells Angels Sue Often”, link here. .That refers to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.  It has registered trademarks largely for use in clothing and memorabilia, and has sued a number of companies, mostly associated with Hollywood and comic books.  The story also discusses the intellectual property attorney Fritz Clapp, in Phoenix, AZ. 
  
The article is quite detailed as to the use of the trademarks, especially in charity drives. 
  
The Arizona connection reminds me of a period in my own life, in the late 1970s, when I sometimes frequented the Understanding community, the old flying saucer community set up by Dan and Florence Fry on a service road off I-10 in Tonotpah, 40 miles west of Phoeniz, in desert irrigated for cotton. 
  
Why aren’t defendants protected by the idea that they are using the names (especially domain names) in different lines of business?  Maybe it’s because back in the 1960’s, American International marketed a notorious biker movie called “Born Losers”, very well known when I was in the Army myself.

Wikipedia attribution link of Scottsdale.  My last visit to the area was in May 2000.   

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