Harley Loses Mexico Sportster Trademark Lawsuit

According to a Mexican newspaper, La Journada, a Mexican businessman, who happened to own the "Sportster" trademark in Mexico, won...

According to a Mexican newspaper, La Journada, a Mexican businessman, who happened to own the "Sportster" trademark in Mexico, won a four year battle against Harley-Davidson.

The Sixth Court Collegiate decided that Alberto Lenz is the rightful owner of the "Sportster" trademark, at least in Mexico. Hence, Harley-Davidson is now responsible for paying his company 40% of the sales price of every Sportster motorcycle sold in Mexico since 1989.

It hasn't yet been calculated exactly what that amounts to. But with each Sportster selling for between $6,000 to $12,000 since 1989, Harley's liability could be between $2,400 to $4,800 per motorcycle. That would work out to something like $3.2 million in royalties for every 1,000 Sportsters sold since 1989. Yikes!

Interestingly enough, Lenz had once offered the Sportster trademark for sale to the MoCo for a sum of $100K. But Harley refused, opting to instead to ignore the trademark dispute and let Lenz try his luck in the Mexican courts.

I guess what amazes me is that an American company like Harley was actually stupid enough to think that Mexican courts would see things their way. Duh!

This decision comes at a time when Harley-Davidson is going all out in selling it bikes outside US borders.

I haven't found any news of this printed in American-based media, only Mexican media.

Here is a link to La Journada (In spanish)...

And here is a link to the Google-translated article...


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Post a Comment

  1. Thats what happens when you try to steal from someone. H-D should have gave some tacos or beer back in '89. Now he get the whole taco bell! I wonder if h-d stops selling girl bikes in mexico? word up pimp A

  2. Girl bike? You mean that thing ur wife straddles in her bed? You.

  3. Sporty's rule over any big twin, any pimp would know that!

  4. Interesting... I wonder how old Mr. Lenz is, considering that H-D coined the Sportster name with its initial introduction in 1952. It took until 1989 for Mr. Lenz to determine there was a conflict? I wonder what documentation he has showing he had trademarked the name prior to 1952, and why it took 37 years to notice.

  5. Most likely HD didn't bother to register the trademark in Mexico, and why HD is only liable for trademark infringement from 1989 onwards instead of from 1952. Hardly should have sold the bike under a different name in Mexico, after all calling a HD a 'sportster' is a bit of a laugh. What's Spanish for 'land whale'?

  6. HD ignoring an issue? Well that is their normal operating mode. Selling the same basic design for 50 years and still wanting to call a sportster that. HD... wakeup and take a look at real sport bikes. They can't even muster any support for Buell. How many HD dealers even know how to change tires on the poor Buell. Even the new Buell might be a few years behind the curve still. Payup HD.

  7. Who knows if Harley Davidson obtain - deal with the mexican businessman Alberto Lenz ? Has Harley Davidson communicate odds ?

  8. The first year for the Sportster was 1957, not 1952. And there's no way that trademark is worth 40% of the sales price. Especially when it originated with Harley, not some mexican.



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