James Coulbourne, the owner of social network for Harley enthusiasts called HarleySpace.com, says that Harley-Davidson told him to stop using the world “Harley” in any way, even to cancel the registration of the domain HarleySpace.com. Cloubourne, who’s also a member of Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, disagrees with Harley-Davidson and he hired the club’s lawyer, Fritz Clapp to defend him.
Fritz Clapp an attorney from Beverly Hills, California calls himself “lawyer from Hell.” He will defend Cloubourne for free and refers to the case as a freedom-of-speech issue.
Harley-Davidson sent a letter to Coulbourne saying that the trademark Harley-Davidson is owned by the company and that they have exclusive rights to use this trademark in connection with their products. “One of our goals is to prevent our trademark from becoming generic,” said Maripat Blankenheim company spokeswoman to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She also said that Harley-Davidson trademark was so valuable because the company had always protected it.
I think in this case Harley-Davidson is right. It’s not like the social network just mentions Harley—they are using their name as part of their identity, plus they are making money from advertising.
Photo by Michael Braun via istockphotos.com.