Kerry, Teresa Earnhardt in battle over last name

Fight over the Earnhardt name rights
Fight over the Earnhardt name rights

Teresa Earnhardt, known for being staunchly protective of the Dale Earnhardt brand and marks, is trying to keep a couple from using "Earnhardt" in the name of homes they developed. That couple? Dale Earnhardt's son Kerry Earnhardt and Kerry's wife, Rene. Teresa Earnhardt, Kerry's stepmother and Dale's widow, doesn't want the couple to use the name Earnhardt Collection and filed an appeal last week in federal court over a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruling that denied Teresa's challenge to the "Earnhardt Collection" trademark applied for by Kerry Earnhardt Inc.

"Rene and I have worked extremely hard to develop the Earnhardt Collection brand and make it uniquely ours," Kerry Earnhardt said in a statement to ESPN.com "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."

Teresa Earnhardt didn't testify in the [trademark] case but states in her appeal that the name Earnhardt Collection is likely to deceive or cause confusion among people that the homes and products are endorsed by Dale Earnhardt or by her. Kelley Earnhardt-Miller, daughter of Dale and second wife Brenda Jackson, testified that no one has confused the Earnhardt Collection of being associated with her brother, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ESPN.com

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