Rapid City, S.D. -- The organizer of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has accused a Rapid City merchandise vendor of profiting from the event without its permission by selling T-shirts with the word "Sturgis."
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc. says it owns the trademark to "Sturgis" and "Black Hills" when the two terms are used to relate to a motorcycle-related event or service. It sued Rushmore Photo & Gifts in Rapid City for copyright infringement last month.
Rushmore Photo supplies merchandise to vendors who sell at the rally. This year's event is August 8-14.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court, the rally says it has licensed vendors that have sold millions of dollars' worth of merchandise. The rally has donated to more than 90 causes and organizations using the royalties, the lawsuit says.
But Aaron Davis, an attorney for Rushmore Photo,