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'Rolling Thunder' Motorcycle Rally Rolls Out A Lawsuit

Posted: 05/08/2012 10:13 am Updated: 05/09/2012 2:34 pm

WASHINGTON -- It's the 25th anniversary of Rolling Thunder. Let's celebrate -- with a lawsuit.

Legal Times reports that organizers of the yearly motorcycle rally, that brings veterans and bikers to the nation's capital every Memorial Day weekend to demonstrate for prisoner of war/missing in action awareness and veterans rights, have filed a lawsuit asking the court to stop vendors from selling counterfeit T-shirts and other merchandise at the upcoming Rolling Thunder XXV rally. (Read the complaint here.)

The suit notes that Rolling Thunder "suffers substantial reputational and
financial harm" because of the knockoff merchandise.

Nancy Regg, spokesperson for a separate but related Rolling Thunder group, told Legal Times that money made selling authentic Rolling Thunder merchandise "goes to help the veterans."

"Tens of thousands" of participants are expected at Rolling Thunder XXV, according to the complaint. At Rolling Thunder XXV's keystone event -- the yearly "Ride for Freedom," on May 27 -- bikers ride from Pentagon to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Performers at this year's rally include Nancy Sinatra, who is a regular at this event. Speakers include Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Bob and Jani Bergdahl, the parents of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been held captive in Afghanistan since 2009.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story identified Nancy Regg as spokesperson for the group that filed the lawsuit. Reggs is spokesperson for a separate but related Rolling Thunder group.

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Filed by Arin Greenwood  |