Harley-Davidson watching for counterfeit items during celebration

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Harley-Davidson licensed clothing will be flying off the shelves during the 110th Anniversary Celebration, but the company's legal department will be busy keeping an eye out for counterfeit merchandise at the reunion.

"We have over 20,000 shirts that are event specific for the 110th Anniversary," said Chaz Hastings of Milwaukee Harley-Davidson.

The company aims to protect the Harley-Davidson logo from those who produce knock-offs and try to pass off items as licensed merchandise.

"We, as dealers, also police the events because it bites into our pockets and in the end, when somebody buys that, they think it's something that we sold them or they'll come to us to complain about the poor merchandise when it had nothing to do with us, but it's got a fake bar and shield logo on it," said Hastings.

Milwaukee attorney Jill Welytok stressed the importance of protecting a trademark for an international company such as Harley-Davidson.

"The trademark is the identity of the source of a quality product like the Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It represents the entire investment in all of the branding, in all of the history of the company associated with the product," said Welytok.

Authentic licensed Harley-Davidson merchandise has a tag with the bar and shield logo. During the 110th Anniversary Celebration the products will be sold at dealerships, three Harley-Davidson sanctioned street parties, and the Summerfest grounds.

"Merchandise is huge at these events because when somebody comes out for the event they want to bring something home to remember the event by and they want to bring something out to people who couldn't make it," said Hastings.