This is a reprint of a email sent to members in January 2012. As of now, the trademark dispute is still ongoing. Patriot Guard Riders are waiting for a ruling from USPTO on our motion. Normally that would take about 2 weeks, it's been since Dec 2011. We have no way to push the USPTO to make that ruling. We are at their mercy and have to wait until they rending the decision. Once that is made we have 30 days to respond to the opposers filing, then the opposer has 15 days to rebut our filing. At that point it goes to the USPTO to make the final determination on who owns the name Patriot Guard Riders, the logo and service marks, one of which is: "People standing in the cemetery holding the American flag at a military funeral."
A great many of you are probably not aware of an ongoing lawsuit between the National Patriot Guard Riders and the first PGR Executive Director Jeff "Twister" Brown.
As a background... Jeff Brown took national the concept of the PGR after attending Missions run by our founders, the Kansas Patriot Guard. For that we owe him thanks.
What he did right before incorporating the PGR is incorporate his own for-profit store selling PGR Merchandise attached to the national website. People, like myself, bought merchandise from that store and had no idea the profits were going to him personally and not the PGR.
After this was discovered Jeff Brown resigned his position in the PGR and quickly the PGR established its own store so the profits would come to them and not to an individual.
In 2007 Jeff Brown brought legal action against the PGR through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He is trying to own the Patriot Guard Riders logos and name so he can continue to profit from them by forcing all of us to buy from or through him.
I don't know how much the legal bills have been for the PGR as they don't tell us. I would guess in excess of $400,000 but again, that is only a guess. I know they are hoping that it will be settled once and for all this year but there are avenues for appeal as well.
Which brings me to the point of this email....
When you buy Patriot Guard Riders or MN Patriot Guard merchandise there are only two places to go that fully support our cause. We ask you shop only at http://patriot-guard-riders.hostedbywebstore.com/ for Patriot Guard Riders gear and http://www.mnpatriotguard.org/gear.asp for MN Patriot Guard gear. Buying from anywhere else is putting profit in the pockets of someone who is not supporting our cause.
If you buy from Twisters Store you are helping him in his pursuit of having the PGR become a for-profit store for him by his profits paying his legal bills.
If you buy from eBay or Craigslist there is a good chance they are counterfeit goods. I have found counterfeit MN Patriot Guard patches on eBay and forced the seller to pull them off.
As always we don't tell people where to shop or what to buy. As far as I'm concerned you don't have to wear a vest with patches or pins at all. It is an individual choice as to what you buy and wear. We only want to make sure you are making an informed choice about where you shop.
Former Minnesota State Captain
President, Board of Directors
Minnesota Patriot Guard
Minnesota State Captain