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“You better lawyer up a-hole, because I’m not coming back for 30%.  I’m coming back for everything!”  — The Social Network.

It seems that H-D has shot itself in the foot.  Almost literally.  We all know that H-D is a company who has vigorously protected its own brand, but it is now faced with and being sued for the unlicensed use of another brand.  It seems the so-called “Brando” boot is stepping on all the wrong people!  Wealthy people.  People that just do lunch.  People, who have their people, call your people.  People who have attorney’s.  Isn’t that how Hollywood works?!

At the heart of the issue is the alleged misappropriation of the right of publicity as the boot “resembles” a leather boot that Marlon Brando wore in the iconic biker movie “The Wild One.”  The case is Brando Enterprises LP v. Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Inc., SC 112654, CA. Superior Court (Santa Monica).

Brando Enterprises is a an operating entity which was created by the Marlon Brando Living Trust to manage core business interests including Brando licensing activities, preservation and archiving of Brando memorabilia. The suit was filed by entertainment and licensing attorney Jeffrey I. Abrams, Esq. of Los Angeles.  He stated that the Brando Enterprises mission is to protect the Marlon Brando name and they will pursue any company or individual who infringes on those rights meant to benefit the Brando family.  Brando Enterprises is represented for licensing by Brand Sense Partners, LLC.

The "Brando" Boot From The Wild One Movie

The suit seeks an injunction to stop Harley-Davidson from infringing and misappropriating the Brando name and to recover damages caused by the sales and marketing of the unlicensed “Brando” boot.

Back in 2009 I blogged how the same company entered into an agreement with Triumph Motorcycles (based in Hinckley, Leicestershire) for the design and recreation of a leather jacket worn by Brando in the “The Wild One” movie.  In that movie Brando starred as the motorcycle gang leader, Johnny Strabler who rode a 1950 Triumph Thunderbird 6T.  The jacket was a modern day replica which included key features of Brando’s original jacket right down to the embroidered ‘Johnny’ name tag and the BRMC distressed print on the back of the jacket.

Photo courtesy of Triumph and Brando Enterprises.  “The Wild One” also includes other motorcycles than Triumph in the film: H-D Knucklehead, H-D WL, H-D Hydra Glide, BSA B-Series, BSA Golden Flash, Velocette MSS 500.

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bmrcI’m not sure who coined the phrase; “I don’t want a stereo on my motorcycle, or engine sounds in the living room”, but I’ve tended to agree. 

However, I’m somewhat surprised at how much of the riding public seem to enjoy having a sound system on their motorcycles.  I do have my reservations about music or musical device accessories while riding.  There seems to be a proliferation of devices some of which are specifically built for motorcycle use and others designed for the helmet.

I’m tuneless on the road.  When riding a motorcycle on an open two-lane highway, you have a lot of time to think. After a while you get tired of thinking, so maybe you sing songs to yourself in your head. Anything can trigger a song. I remember heading east across Montana on the way to the 105th Anniversary and seeing a sale sign for Amarillo Western shirts.  For the next several hours George Strait’s “Amarillo by Morning” kept running through my head. It’s a great song.  But after awhile the music in your head turns down the volume, and all you’re left with is yourself in the wind. You may not be aware of it, but if you ride a motorcycle and really like it, I think this is probably a large part of the reason for your passion.

Obviously some motorcyclist disagree because there are lots of riders who have “Tunes.”  If a motorcycle is a metaphor for quality, then when you’re out in the wind, the world disappears inside the quality of the ride.  It takes practice, finding the quality in motorcycling.  It takes the ability to concentrate without concentrating. I consider music too much of a distraction and a great ride can only be diminished by sounds other than “throttle” music!

How about you?  Does music instill calmness and a soothing, relaxed mental state?  Is riding with music like skiing new powder snow and adds a rhythm that makes everything happen with a certain smoothness?  Do you lust after a Garmin 376C to avoid rain storms and listen to college football games on Saturday afternoon rides?  Or does the idea of an iPod mounted on your motorcycle remind you of that horrible long ride on a bad application of chip seal?

Photo courtesy of BRMC and Flickr.

 

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