The Ridley Motorcycle Company has agreed to quit using the name "Auto-Glide" as part of a settlement with Harley-Davidson.
Harley sued Ridley in 2003 over the name, claiming a copyright infringement.
Although the case did go to court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin Federal Court in August 2007, Ridley settled with Harley-Davidson this week, before a verdict was reached.
Ridley, which manufactures and sells automatic-transmission motorcycles, has agreed to quit using the name.
Late note: it’s still an Au!o-Gl*de
A last-minute press release from the Ridley factory may relieve concerns of some Au+o-Gl@de owners.
"Yesterday we forwarded you the following press release. It has come to our attention that this news has caused some confusion for owners of motorcycles with the Auto-Glide brand mark. The owners of Auto-Glide model Ridley motorcycles should know that this settlement in no way effects their motorcycle. The settlement only effect the naming of future models for Ridley and that Ridley will not produce another model using the Auto-Glide name. Ridley and Ridley Dealers will continue to refer to previous year model Auto-Glides as Auto-Glides."
In other words, if you own a Ridley Au&o-Gl#de, you don’t have to take it into your dealer and have its name changed. We’re pretty sure you CMGers would have already guessed this, but you may know some non-CMG Ridley riders — in that case, please tip them off. No recall has been issued.
“If Cushman let the registration lapse Harley has a perfectly fair right to it”
I’m not sure that’s the case. If a company can demonstrate continuous use/identification with a name/phrase you can’t just register it and enforce your ownership over their continued use/association.
This has more to do with associating your product name with their product name for your gain.
Either way HD is entitled to protect their trademarks and their customers from product/brand confusion.
I suggest for Ridley Motorcycle Company new name “freehand glide”
I’ll just add that if Cushman had rights to the term Glide, and I’m neither suggesting they did or did not, then their failure to enforce said right in a court of law would have resulted in Harley Davidson’s legal assumption of said right. Clearly from this it should be clear enough why Harley would go out of their way to avoid the same fate.
To the previous poster – you don’t patent a name you trademark it. As far as Cushman is concerned it’s irrelevant. If Cushman let the registration lapse Harley has a perfectly fair right to it. Since the term “Glide” has been used by Harley in their motorcycle brands for ever (Super Glide, Hydra Glide, Wide Glide, Electra Glide Street Glide, Road Glide etc etc) it’s hardly surprising to see them moving to protect themselves against an upstart company that’s only been around a few years (versus Harley Davidson – since 1903).
Cushman Motors of Minneapolis manufactured an automatic scooter between 1937 and 1946 known as the “Auto-Glide”. I believe they were first to use the name but Harley was likely the first to patent it. Will H-D go after Cushman now? To me, this is just another example of the big insecure company trying to crush to little guy.