Rapid City jury awards Sturgis Motorcycle Rally $912K in 'Sturgis' trademark suit

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RAPID CITY, South Dakota — A Rapid City jury has awarded Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc. $912,500 in a four-year-old dispute over the "Sturgis" trademark.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc. sued Rushmore Photo and Gifts and Wal-Mart over its Sturgis trademark. The organization has contended that the trademark helps pay for the annual motorcycle rally and is a necessary protection so the city can make money.

The defendants maintained that Sturgis is geographically descriptive and shouldn't be trademarked.

The trial has been ongoing this week and jury deliberations began Thursday. Jurors reached their verdict about 3:40 p.m. MT.

The plaintiffs had been seeking up to $7 million in damages from the defendants for sales of allegedly unlicensed products. Jurors filled out a complex 18-page form to determine the award after asking the judge for a calculator.

Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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