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NASCAR: trademark battle between Kerry Earnhardt, Teresa Earnhardt continues

Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2010 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2010 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has to clarify its decision of a case involving Teresa Earnhardt, the widow of seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt, and Earnhardt’s oldest son Kerry Earnhardt and his wife Rene over Kerry and Rene Earnhardt’s use of the name “Earnhardt Collection” for their line of custom-built homes through Schumacher Homes, according to a report from ESPN.

Kerry Earnhardt Inc. licensed the name “Earnhardt Collection” to Schumacher Homes in 2011 for the name of a line of homes designed by Kerry Earnhardt and his wife.

Teresa Earnhardt began to fight the use of the name in 2012. The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board ruled in favor of Kerry and Rene Earnhardt last year. Originally, Teresa Earnhardt claimed that the name “Earnhardt Collection” may mislead potential buyers, making them think she endorsed the homes. She later dropped that claim but insisted that the licensing of the name “Earnhardt Collection” was illegal, because it was an attempt to trademark a surname by adding the descriptive term, “Collection.”

According to the Court of Appeals, the Trademark Board’s opinion from 2016 “is certainly not a model of clarity.”

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board doesn’t have to reverse or otherwise change its decision; the Court of Appeals is asking, instead, for clarification of the original decision.

“Kerry Earnhardt Inc. believed the (Trademark Board’s) judgment could have been affirmed as it was, but we understand the Federal Circuit’s desire to have more clarity,” Kerry Earnhardt’s attorney Blaine Sanders said “We are confident that, on remand, the (Board) will again determine that ‘Earnhardt Collection’ is registrable.”

Kerry Earnhardt’s half-siblings, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt Miller, publicly support him.

“I hate this for my brother,” Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) tweeted Thursday. “He’s a good soul and my father would be proud of him and what he’s accomplished.”

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (Facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (Facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on July 28, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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