Harley Davidson Throws Down On Motorcycle Social Networking Site

Harley-Davidson Forces Website to Change Domain Name to IronRides.com

Think the Motor Company isn’t serious about protecting what is certainly one of the most well-recognized brands around the world? Think again…

About a month after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG), a Delaware resident says he was forced to change the domain name for his motorcycle-fan social-networking site.

Jimmy Coulbourne says he dropped the name he registered for his website, HarleySpace.com (in favor of IronRides.com) after the Milwaukee motorcycle manufacturer threatened legal action.

“They’ll never convince me that my members are foolish enough to think this site is owned by Harley,” Coulbourne said of the name change.

According to Harley-Davidson’s trademark attorney, David M. Kelly of Washington-based Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP, send a missive to Coulbourne’s lawyer Fritz Clapp, calling for the change to prevent his client from being slapped with a a copyright lawsuit. Clapp also happens to be the general counsel to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

Kelly said that while his client doesn’t  object to discussions of Harley-Davidson products on the website, the domain name HarleySpace.com might cause members of the public to mistakenly consider it an official Harley-Davidson Motor Company site.


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