Teresa Earnhardt, widow of Dale Earnhardt, recently filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals stating that stepson Kerry Earnhardt’s business improperly uses the trademarked Earnhardt name.
The case drew a public rebuke from Kelley Earnhardt Miller, half-sister to Kerry.
Teresa Earnhardt is Kerry’s stepmother.
Attorneys for Teresa Earnhardt state that Kerry Earnhardt’s use of “Earnhardt Collection” for home designs creates confusion.
The trademark ruling went against her because “Based on the evidence of record, we conclude that (Teresa’s) and (Kerry’s) goods and services travel in different channels of trade and are sold to both different customers, as well as different classes of customers.
“The goods and services at issue are not related to car racing. The purchasers are not necessarily racing fans. While the Earnhardt Collection custom home design services were ‘launched at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on October the 12th, 2011,’ (Kerry) required promotional material to include Kerry Earnhardt’s name, image or likeness ‘or something to the effect in order to connote that Kerry is the sponsor of (the) enterprise.’ ”
Kerry issued a statement to ESPN.com: “(Wife) Rene and I have worked extremely hard to develop the Earnhardt Collection brand and make it uniquely ours. I chose to leave a successful career in racing and could not be happier with what we’ve been able to achieve in the five years we’ve been building our home lifestyle brand inspired by our love of the outdoors.”
Kerry Earnhardt competed in NASCAR’s national series from 1998-2006. He ran in seven Sprint Cup races from 2000-05. He competed in 72 Xfinity races from 1998-2009 and ran 27 Camping World Truck races from 2005-06.