Daytona Beach Bike Week
It’s official – the term "Daytona Beach Bike Week" is not owned by anyone, and can be used without worrying about paying royalties to other companies.
This decision arrived after a lengthy trademark-fight in court between a three companies – one in Florida, other two in New York – and The Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Cobb Cole law firm.
United States District Court Judge Mary Scriven issued the order that states neither of the companies may claim exclusive ownership of the term "Daytona Beach Bike Week" or threaten others with prosecution if they did not pay for the use of the name.
The fight began when the three companies (Consolidated Distributors, Inc., Joe Cool, Inc., and Mettemp, Inc.) began threatening local businesses in 2009 for not paying a royalty for each item being sold bearing the name "Daytona Beach Bike Week" and its variations during the famed motorcycle event.
The court decision found that "’Daytona Beach Bike Week’ and its functional equivalents are generic and cannot receive trademark protection," ruling that the term "Daytona Beach Bike Week" belongs to the community and not one person or entity.
And as for three mentioned companies that attempted to register the trademark on the term, the ruling said it was "fraudulently obtained or, alternatively, was improperly granted."
Thomas J. Leek (Daytona Regional Chamber Chairman of the Board, partner with Cobb Cole) says: "In our minds this was always a fight to protect our business community, our City, and the greater community at large, and specifically to fight off the Defendants’ attempt to take something that wasn’t theirs … and then charge people for using it.
"This ruling ensures that the mark will remain the property of the City of Daytona Beach and the community at large, for all local businesses and distributors to use in perpetuity. This is a significant milestone in that it will live as a warning to future trademark squatters, and provide protection for all to continue to enjoy the use the mark."
Bob Coleman (Bike Week Festival Task Force Co-Chairman) says: "This has certainly been a long road but we are delighted that the court has chosen to make a strong statement denying any claim of ownership to what has always been a term freely used by our businesses. This should be a timely relief of a burden hanging over those businesses planning for the 2012 event."
Larry McKinney (Daytona Regional Chamber President): says: "We’d especially like to thank the law firm of Cobb Cole, and specifically attorneys Kelly Parsons Kwiatek and Heather Vargas. When this issue first arose in 2009, the Chamber recognized the serious negative implications of what the Defendants were trying to do, but we didn’t have the legal or financial resources to fight the Defendants off.
"That’s when Cobb Cole stepped up and agreed to partner with us to protect our community. Their tireless efforts and legal skills were the key to our success, and this victory for our community is a gift that all can enjoy for many years to come."
The Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce has acted as managers of Bike Week in Daytona Beach since 1988, marking the formation of its Bike Week Festival Task Force. Comprised of over 30 individuals representing a variety of organizations and disciplines from both the public and private sectors, the Task Force acts as stewards of the event and performs many duties and functions geared toward improving the quality of the event and overall experience of Bike Week visitors.
The 71st Anniversary of the "World’s Largest Motorcycle Event " will be held March 9 through March 18 as Bike Week 2012 roars into Daytona Beach. Additional information on Bike Week in Daytona Beach can be found on the Official Daytona Bike Week Website at officialbikeweek.com or by contacting the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce at 386-255-0981.