Current Events Presentation: Team Quest Lawsuit
A current event that is of significant interest is the lawsuit between Dan Henderson and Matt Lindland over trademark rights to the famous Team Quest Fight Club. This lawsuit is an interesting battle over trademark rights, copyright infringement, and unfair competition. Who owns a name or a trade mark? Who has rights or ownership of its use? Is it the “senior” user of a name or the person that files for its copyright? Who has more claim to it? This case is also of particular interest because Team Quest started right here in Portland, Oregon.
The lawsuit was filed by Dan Henderson – one of the original Team Quest founders. According to Henderson, he started the Team Quest with Randy Couture in 1999. Henderson stated he and Couture were the “senior” users of the Team Quest mark, including the Team Quest “fist” logo, as well as the names Team Quest and Team Quest MMA Fitness. Henderson claims Lindland didn’t join Team Quest until 2001. Henderson said he and Couture authorized the creation of the logo followed by copyrighted artwork with the U.S. Copyright Office. Couture has since relinquished any rights of Team Quest to Henderson. Lindland had agreed to pay royalties to Henderson for Team Quest clothing and gear. In 2005, Lindland filed trademarks on the Team Quest Names and logo without informing the US Patent and Trademark Office that another person had senior rights to the items being trademarked. Henderson offered use of the Team Quest name to Team Quest Australia when Lindland informed him he wasn’t allowed because Lindland owned the copyrights. Henderson then filed the lawsuit to protect his interest in the Team Quest brand.
Lindland, of course, has a very different story. According to Tracey Lesetar , an attorney and columnist for MMA website sherdog.com, Lindland not only asked the California court to dismiss the claims, he countersued Henderson for...