We recently learned that you are using our HARLEY trademark in connection with a social networking site intended for motorcycle enthusiasts. Specifically, we are aware that you have registered and are using the domain name HarleySpace.com to direct users to a social networking site; that you are using HarleySpace in a manner suggesting that it is a legal entity by, for example, claiming copyrights in its name; that you have created and are using a graphic logo incorporating the name HarleySpace, which constitutes trademark use; and that you use this name and logo on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, among other web sites. You are also e-mailing Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealers, inviting them to join your social networking site.
Harley-Davidson owns the HARLEY trademark and has the exclusive right to use this mark in connection with motorcycles and related goods and services, including for motorcycle enthusiast groups. Within the motorcycling community, the media, and the marketplace at large, the HARLEY trademark is famously associated with our company and its products and services whenever it is used in connection with anything related to motorcycles.
Your use of our trademark in the above-identified manner is likely to cause confusion, mistake, or deception in the marketplace, in that consumers are likely to believe that your web site is somehow affiliated with, sponsored, or approved by Harley-Davidson, when this is not the case. Your actions are also likely to dilute the character of our famous trademark. Under the circumstances, it is our view that your conduct constitutes trademark infringement, unfair competition, and trademark dilution.
Therefore, we must insist that you immediately stop all use of our HARLEY trademark in any way in connection with your social networking activities and that you cancel your registration of the domain name HarleySpace.com. We also require your written assurances that you will refrain from these activities and any other conduct that infringes our trademark rights in the future.
We hope that you will choose to resolve this quickly and amicable, and we would appreciate receiving your positive, written response as soon as possible.
Mgr., Global Brand Protection
Harley-Davidson Motor Company
3700 W. Juneau Avenue
Milwaukee, Wi 53208
Sent from my iPad
Aloha Boris, I agree 100% about the CCS bikes. I came across a realy nice looking bike this last week and asked the person who was advertiser if it was a Chinese made bike because they were only asking $1,000 for it and it was only a couple of years old. They replied and jumped all over my ass about my asking about it being a Chinese bike and it was the price that gave it away. I told them that they shouldn't jump on my Okokle since they were the ones who bought it and it wasn't my fault it wouldn't sell so get off my back. What I don't understand is how they can build such a nixe bice that weighs less than 200 lbs where my Sportster 1200 weighs over 500 lbs and a full sized Harley weighs in at over 800 lbs, so we know it has to be the metal they use is either aluminum or who knows what,but one thing is for sure and that is I will never buy one of those pieces of crap and would not even consider riding one because I read somewhere's that they are very dangerous and if you get in an accident on one you are going to be in a world of hurt. I love my Harley and I am sure that the other american made bikrs are also really well made bikes and I want to keep the money here in the USA and not in a foreign country. Aloha, Mike
Stuff a duck ...
Jim Coulbourne (IronRides), glad to see you finally got this rather personal issue with the site name resolved. New name actually has a good ring to it! (I see 'IronRiders' is taken.) This should work fine and I assume Harley Davidson is happy! At least hopefully, you can call it your own now.
G/L ! 110
Hope other sites don't pose anymore name problems for you (below)..
Wonder if "HDRiders" would be legal?
Here's a copy of what I posted on the article's comment section. Sorry to hear we had to change but, now we move forward.
This is an example of short term shoot-yourself-in-the-foot thinking by Harley Davidson. One of the fastest growing segments for Harley Davidson overlaps with those exact folks who participate in social media communities, like HarleySpace.com, now IronRides.com. This is particularly true for HD merchandise and branded items that lend themselves to electronic commerce and exchange channels.
The Motor Company continues to alienate its increasingly digitally savvy customer base with predatory behavior like this while remaining unable or unwilling to engage its customers in a dialogue like that is facilitated enthusiasts like Mr. Coulbourne. As the HD demographic ages the Company's lack of digital foresight will become an increasing liability particularly as new customers come of age and look to more socially friendly companies.
As much as anything this is a HUGE opportunity for a company like Victory Motorcycles to build, acquire and encourage as much online and social activity as possible.
It's a real shame to see HD target and silence so many loyal customers and admirers rather than encouraging communities like this one. And the bottom line is simply this is happening and every resource HD expends on fighting an inevitable market trend is a resource wasted and a terrible disservice to customers and shareholders.
Wow, well written. Can you post that here http://www.ydr.com/business/ci_20406551
Personally, I have no problem with them protecting their Trademark. I have a problem with their not standing behind it.
Got an Electrical Lemon of a 2011 RoadGlide. H-D of The Woodlands is not standing up for what is right. And they KNOW it.
Using the precious trademark name used to be a matter of honor.
Can't have a website with the forbidden name, ...but no problem tattooing it on yer bum. Wonder what they do in the case of one having the forbidden name inscribed on their glory, and say that glory is in Amsterdam where it is ok to sell the bum. Would that be a case of copywriter infringement with the intent to profit thereby. Hmmmmm?
That or a simple "hello is this thing on?"
I know the original posting was almost a year ago but I have just had a similar experience with the almighty Harley d. My biker gifts website has the name Harley in it, one out of four words. I do have another domain name I can use but have established the current domain. I have no doubt that my customers relate to my site as a Harley site. I am torn on what to do, can't really afford to fight this, for long anyway. It's a joke that a company that has it's own issues worries about small business's such as mine
I feel your pain, Chris!!
It's frustrating and and annoying, to say the least, when this happens. Unfortunately for you and the Ironside guys,this is a battle you will not win. HD has airtight copy rights on "Harley", Harley-Davidson", "Harley Davidson", "HOG" and H.O.G.".
As I and the owners of this site have discovered, "they" are constantly trawling the net for any infringements. I had a HOG and HD merchandise site some years ago that was sanctioned by them - me paying HD or HOG a percentage of my sales. As we are but 2% of the global HD and HOG market here in South Africa, it became nonviable, economically.
Have you received notification of your "infringement"? If so, my personal advise would be to request a "grace period" (defined) allowing your traffic to be automatically re-directed to your new domain. I'm sure that your existing and loyal clientele would quickly become familiar with your new domain name, informing them, online (be careful not to badmouth HD regarding this dilemma - 'cos they ARE watching!). Allow your customers to migrate and I'm sure that all will be well.
I know this is difficult to swallow, after spending so much time and effort in your current domain but in the long run, it's all you can do.
Yes, one would think that domains such as yours and this site is PROMOTING the brand but legally, you don't have a leg to stand on, sadly.
I hope this helps. Send me your existing and new URL when it is registered.
It really does suck. I have their trademark office directly and have told them about the notice I received,. I have also added two disclaimers to the site that will be seen clearly that we aren't associated with Harley Davidson at all. the trademark office also wanted to know who and sent the original notice of infringement,. I have another domain that I can use and as far as ranking it may do better but I have a bunch of links that I will have to basically throw away not to mention accounts in my current business name that will have to be changed. you have to love the David and Goliath story.