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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkNews from Around the Americas | December 2005 

Lesbian Motorcycle Brigade to get 'Dykes on Bikes' Trademark
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A member of the women's motorcycle contingent known as 'Dykes on Bikes.' The US patent office has reversed position and approved a request to let the lesbian San Francisco motorcycle club trademark the name 'Dykes on Bikes'
(AFP/Robyn Beck)
The US patent office has reversed position and approved a request to let a lesbian San Francisco motorcycle club trademark the name "Dykes on Bikes," the office confirmed.

"The original reaction of the examiner was to reject it because he considered the term (dykes) disparaging," Brigid Quinn of the US patent office told AFP.

"The applicant got lots of evidence, from everyone from lawyers to academics, that the term wasn't considered disparaging in the lesbian community."

An examiner approved the Dykes on Bikes trademark on December 5, Quinn said. After the decision is formally published, opponents will have 30 days to argue against finalizing the decision, according to Quinn.

Dykes on Bikes has led every Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco since the first procession some 30 years ago.

The macho motorcycle riders often sport leather chaps, vests and caps while cavorting on their mean machines. Female passengers are known to ride topless, proudly showing off tattoos or piercings.

The campaign for a trademark won the support of San Francisco's board of supervisors.

Before the trademark was approved, Tomas Lee, a spokesman for supervisor Tom Ammiano, said Dykes on Bikes has led gay pride parades in other major world cities, such as Paris, London, Tokyo and Sydney.

The US television show "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" has been allowed to lay legal claim to its name, and denying Dykes on Bikes the same privilege was an unequal standard, Lee said.

The lesbian bikers want to protect the Dykes on Bikes name from being used by impostors, according to Lee.

"Their purpose is primarily educational, not commercial," Lee said of the motorcycle club.



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