Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

City of Sturgis completes purchase for heritage Rally trademarks

STURGIS, S.D. – The city of Sturgis has reached an agreement for the transfer of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally heritage trademarks.

A local auction company had the marks up for auction in late October until the city of Sturgis advised First Interstate Bank, the mark’s lienholder, of legal issues affecting the sale. The auction was then paused.

Since then, the city and First Interstate Bank negotiated an agreement for the purchase of the marks.

Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie says terms of the agreement provide for the payment of some $90,000 by the City for an assignment of all the trademarks that are subject to F.I.B.’s liens.

“So, last night, the council agreed for the check that we’re paying First Interstate Bank for those trademarks. It will include $75,000 for the trademarks and a $15,000 auctioneer fee.”

Ainslie says they will establish a heritage collection that will provide 100-percent of all proceeds each year back to the community, which was the original vision.

He says they are working on licensing the heritage marks to various entities.

They include Black Hills Rally & Gold and Tom’s T’s.

The licenses became available after a court ruling voided Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Inc.’s ownership claim to them. The courts ruled S.M.R.I. could not own or have valid trademark rights to names like “Sturgis, Sturgis Rally and Race,” and Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.”

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