It was boys v. girls in California this week. And the girls came out on top.
A one Michael McDermott filed a 2005 lawsuit against Dykes on Bikes, claiming, among other things, the name offended him.
McDermott complained to the U.S. Patent and Trademark office in 2005 after the agency relented to the San Francisco motorcycle club and granted it exclusive rights to the name Dykes on Bikes.
McDermott said the name is “disparaging to men and is scandalous and immoral.” When the patent office rejected his claim, he took the agency to court.
Disparaging to men? From what we understand, neither the dykes nor their bikes have anything to do with you. Putz.
According to legal precedent, a person challenging a trademark must show “a reasonable basis for a belief that he would be damaged”. McDermott couldn’t do that, said a judge, because the ladies’ decision to call themselves dykes has nothing to do with him.
The ruling allows the Dykes on Bikes to keep their name. And, according to their lawyer, has broader implications:
From a trademark law perspective it’s an important decision because it means … one person totally unrelated to a trademark or the use of a trademark can’t stand in the way. A lot of times when one group expresses its civil rights, others tend to feel it takes something away from them. It doesn’t — it’s an expression of pride.
Nothing says pride like a bunch of lezzies revving their engines.