When people ask me if I like being a trademark lawyer, I often respond: “Well nobody dies and nobody goes to jail over a trademark dispute.” Looks like I was wrong.
According to a purported eyewitness account of the Waco “Twin Peaks” motorcycle gang melee between the Banditos and the Cossacks, chronicled in the Washington Post, that’s exactly what lead to the brawl which ended up with nine dead and scores arrested. Like most motorcycle clubs, the Banditos wear patches or logos on their motorcycle jackets, intended to identify membership; the Bandito patches include what’s known as the “Texas rocker”—an inverted crescent containing the word “TEXAS.”
WaPo’s anonymous source, who says he is the president of a North Texas chapter of the Cossacks, claims that the Banditos demand a fee of $100 per month, per chapter, to use the Texas rocker on member jackets. The Cossacks (with more than 100 chapters, according to the article’s anonymous source) also wear a Texas rocker patch. That translates into a royalty of a cool $120,000+ per year. But, purportedly, the Cossacks refused to pay the Banditos’ patch fee, leading to a very deadly alternative dispute resolution.
You can see and compare the Banditos and Cossacks patches here, from DailyMail.com.