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Harley Davidson v. Grottanelli

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
164 F.3d 806 (1999)


Facts

Grottanelli (defendant) operated a motorcycle repair business called “The Hog Farm.” Harley Davidson (plaintiff) filed a common-law trademark infringement suit, claiming that the term “HOG” was a trademark of its motorcycles. The word “hog” appeared in dictionaries defined as a large motorcycle. In addition, as early as 1935, the media used term “hog” to describe motorcycles, generally, not necessarily those manufactured by Harley Davidson. Harley Davidson argued that the term had become specific to its own motorcycles and thus had acquired trademark status.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Newman, J.)

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