After seven years of litigation at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the Ingham County Circuit Court, and the US District Court for the Western District of Michigan, many, many, many sleepless nights, and some of our best legal work, the Attorney General of the State of Michigan has dismissed its trademark cancellation proceeding against M22 with prejudice.
The M22 trademarks are valid, registered, fully enforceable, and incontestible under the law.
Read the full press release below:
07 March, 2019
03/07/2019 Traverse City, MI —M22, LLC, the iconic northern Michigan outdoor brand, will keep its federal trademark protection for the M22 logo following an agreement with the State of Michigan.
In a settlement signed on Feb. 28, M22 released the State from any grievances or future suits in trade for the State dismissing all claims against M22. The settlement also entails that M22 cannot be challenged by the State again on the matter and retains full rights to protect its trademark for retail and apparel nationwide.
“This is a huge win for our customers and our team,” said Keegan Myers, co-founder of M22, LLC. “It’s been a long struggle for us, but we stayed with it because we believed in the strength of our brand and what it means to our loyal customers and employees.”
Brothers Keegan and Matt Myers founded the company in 2004. M22 first filed the logo for a federal trademark in 2006 and was awarded in 2007. After the US Patent and Trademark Office’s required five-year period of consecutive use, the trademark had become “incontestable,” the strongest status for a trademark.
However, in 2012 then Michigan State Attorney General Bill Schuette wrote an opinion claiming no entity could claim control over a highway marker design because it was public domain. This opinion kicked off a seven year legal contest at both the state and federal level.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Dana Nessel succeeded Bill Schuette, and her office re-examined the case, deciding not to move forward with litigation.
“We’ve believed that our position on the law has been correct from day one,” said John Di Giocomo, partner at Revision Legal and M22’s lead attorney on the case. “Now, seven years later, we are glad that the new attorney general has reviewed the case and has determined that it is not worth pursuing further.”
With the trademark undisputed, M22 will continue to protect the brand. The company holds several federal trademarks extending to any retail and apparel products as well as the M22 Challenge race. The trademark does not prevent businesses from using “M-22” to describe a location or directions.“
We’re thankful to have come to an amicable solution with the State of Michigan,” said Matt Myers, co-founder at M22, LLC. “We love our state, and our outdoor brand reflects the passion we have for northern Michigan and exploring its natural wonders.”
For more information about M22’s trademark or usage examples, visit m22.com/pages/trademarks.
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Founded in 2004, M22 is an outdoor brand dedicated to sharing adventure and exploration of northern Michigan. The company retails high quality apparel, accessories and adventure gear online and from its stores in Glen Arbor and Traverse City, MI. More at m22.com.
Media Contact:Keegan Myers, Co-founder, M22, 231-392-3555, firstname.lastname@example.org