Evel Knievel display triggers lawsuit against Iowa museum
(Nevada Current) Iowa’s National Motorcycle Museum is being sued over its display and sale of Evel Knievel memorabilia.
K&K Promotions, a Nevada company that owns the rights to the likeness, brand and intellectual property of the late motorcycle daredevil and stunt driver, Evel Knievel, is suing the Anamosa-based National Motorcycle Museum in U.S. District Court for alleged trademark infringement and unjust enrichment.
K&K alleges that its ownership of Knievel’s likeness gives it the exclusive right to use intellectual property related to Knievel with regard to any events, media and entertainment exhibits that feature Knievel’s image, motorcycles and stunts.
The museum, which charges a fee for admission, has prominently featured images of Knievel, as well as a motorcycle painted to replicate a motorcycle once used by Knievel in his stunts and performances, the lawsuit claims. The museum has also featured a replica of the stunt rocket used by Knievel in one of his most famous stunts – a failed 1974 attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon in Idaho.
The museum also sells Evel Knievel merchandise, including DVDs, posters, magnets and postcards, the lawsuit claims.
K&K alleges it sent the museum a demand to halt the display or sale of any Knievel-related memorabilia and that the museum failed to comply. K&K alleges it has suffered losses of at least $75,000, as well as irreparable injury to its business and reputation.
The officially sanctioned Evel Knievel Muesum is located in Topeka, Kansas.
Anamosa’s National Motorcycle Museum has yet to file a response to the lawsuit. A spokesperson said the museum has pulled any Evel Knievel-related items from display and that the museum will be closing permanently in September of this year.
In its recent announcement of the closing, the museum’s board of directors cited financial struggles and low visitation. The museum was founded in 1989.