H-D wins court order barring Nebraska dealer from using trademarks

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Harley-Davidson has won a federal injunction against a Nebraska dealer that continued to use its trademarks after the dealership agreement had expired.

The court found that Ellworth’s Harley-Davidson was an independent dealer licensed to sell Harley-Davidson products from 1981 to the end of 2009. Motor Co. applied to the Nebraska Motor Vehicle Department in 2007 to terminate the dealer agreement, and Elworth’s opposed it, and the parties reached a settlement agreement that gave the dealer until Dec. 31, 2009, to find an approved buyer. Failing that, the agreement would terminate.

Elworth’s didn’t find a buyer by the termination date, and H-D notified them that the license was deemed voluntarily surrendered under the settlement agreement.

Elworth’s again contested, but the court granted the injunction barring the dealer from using H-D trademarks.

An analysis of the case is posted on the Jones Day law firm Web site. The underlying case remains to be resolved.

Posted by Holly Wagner