Category Archives: News

Is the Military Dying on Motorcycles?

Citing a study that the motorcycle accident death rate has doubled during the last few years for various branches of the military, CNN reported that troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have been returning home to die in motorcycle accidents.  CNN reported that this is double the combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.

CNN reports that some psychiatrists said the Superman complex is to blame.  After returning home from war, troops believe nothing can happen to them and engage in risky activities.  The CNN report made it sound like motorcycles are so risky that they are responsible for killing more people than in war.

CNN interviewed Navy psychiatrist Lieutenant Commander Leigh Bishop who said that he was not greatly surprised and that “Psychiatrists and mental health providers certainly are aware of some of the emotions and mental attitudes in our returning service members that can lead to seeking thrilling or exciting behaviors that may be risky.”

CNN showed a video of a motorcycle training class provided by one of the branches of the military indicating that the military is now providing motorcycle training to stem further motorcycle injuries.  Lt. Cmdr. Bishop said that they are taught how to deal with the handling characteristics of the motorcycles that they’re riding, being aware of their mental state and attitude, and not to drive when under stress or have been drinking.

CNN Anchor Kyra Phillips ended the report with a final question for US Navy Petty Officer Aaron Richards, who was also being interviewed, “Final thought, Aaron, when you get on the bike, what goes through your head since you’ve had the training, and you’ve watched your buddies die and just even this conversation, what’s going through your mind when you get on that bike?”

While the theme of the CNN report seemed to be about the emotions of returning troops causing them to engage in risky activities, the report made riding all motorcycles sound like a death wish.  But, barely heard in the interview was one sentence by Lt. Cmdr. Bishop who said: “One of the things that we know is that 88 percent of the accidents that have happened have happened on sports bikes, which handle differently than cruisers.”

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Changing Attitudes Towards Motorcyclists

A client who was injured in a motorcycle accident said that attitudes towards motorcyclists have been changing recently to become more positive. I pointed out that this is been going on for a long time and that Malcolm Forbes is the person who can probably be most credited for starting it.

I remember seeing Malcolm Forbes drive down Fifth Avenue in New York City in a suit on his motorcycle with other executives following along. I tried to find a photograph without success. However, I did find this photograph of Malcolm Forbes sitting on his motorcycle in his Fifth Avenue office in 1976.

But my father started first!  This is my father in a suit on his motorcycle in 1946
My father wearing s suit on his motorcycle in 1946

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Hells Angels Sues Rapper Young Jeezy

Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation agreed to settle their differences with rapper Young Jeezy and Dillard’s on a peaceful basis by moving their lawsuit from court to a Voluntary Dispute Resolution Program. The Stipulation filed in court by the attorneys doesn’t indicate the type of dispute resolution program but it could be either mediation which is a moderated attempt to negotiate a settlement or arbitration which results in a binding decision.

The Hells Angels previously filed a lawsuit against rapper Young Jeezy’s 8732 Apparel, Ltd. and Dillard’s, Inc. retail stores. The lawsuit alleged that they manufactured and sold hats, shirts, and vests bearing a design which is confusingly similar to the Hells Angels trademark.

My personal opinion is that the Hells Angels have a good case.  The “decoration” patch looks to me like a cheap imitation of the Hells Angels patch, logo, and colors.  I believe it looks confusingly similar and could easily be confused by the general public.

The imitation even includes “EIGHT SEVEN”, an obvious attempt to be similar to the use of  “81” signifying “HA”, the eighth and first letters of the alphabet.  The use of EIGHT SEVEN instead of 81 is no accident.  I see this as showing intent by the designer to infringe on the Hells Angels trademarks.

Take a look for yourself at the Complaint in the lawsuit to decide if it looks confusingly similar.  Starting on page 8, the trademarks are shown in Exhibit A, photos of the trademarks used by the Hells Angels are shown in Exhibit B, and the alleged infringing items in Exhibit C.

If you’re interested in a relatively simple discussion about the term confusingly similar, take a look at Likelihood of Confusion—The Basis for Trademark Infringement

Large corporations, clothing manufacturers and retailers are especially protective of their trademarks and are quick to file lawsuits.  The Hells Angels logo is a very old and well-known trademark so it’s strange that they had to file several lawsuits in the past to protect their trademark against large corporations like Disney, Saks, Amazon, MTV, and others.

I don’t know why manufacturers and retailers which are keenly interested in protecting their own trademarks, would so often seek to take advantage of the Hells Angels trademarks.  Making money by copying a trademark and “changing it” so you think it’s different enough is only an attempt to fool oneself into thinking you can get away with it.  But it’s nothing more than a fake Rockefeller using his fake identity to steal money.

The Hells Angels have numerous trademarks with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation listed as the owner.  Their first trademark was filed on June 15, 1978, for their iconic winged skull logo.

You can search the Hells Angels trademarks at http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4805:9l55ex.1.1

  • Click on Basic Word Mark Search (New User)
  • Enter Hells Angels in the field for Search Term:
  • Click on Submit Query

Motorcycle accident? Get the HURT911® Personal Injury Dream Teamon your side! 
Call right now, days/nights/weekends for a free consultation with no obligation!
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