Motorcycle Safety Foundation Protects Intellectual Property Rights in Settlement with Oregon State University and Stephen Garets

Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:19pm EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

MSF Grants Team Oregon Motorcycle Safety Program License to Incorporate MSF’s
Copyrighted Materials
IRVINE, Calif.--(Business Wire)--
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation announced that it has resolved its copyright
infringement lawsuit against Dr. Edward Ray, on behalf of Oregon State
University, and Stephen Garets, operators of the Team Oregon Motorcycle Safety
Program. The Settlement Agreement was finalized by all parties today. 

“We are pleased with the settlement in which the integrity of MSF’s intellectual
property rights was acknowledged,” said Tim Buche, president of the MSF. “It’s
unfortunate that a lawsuit was necessary to reach a resolution of this dispute.”

MSF had offered to settle its intellectual property claims on substantially the
same terms in October 2006 and only resorted to the lawsuit after its offer was
rejected without a counter offer. 

Buche added that MSF, which was represented in the litigation by Paul Gale and
Erik Pritchard of Ross, Dixon and Bell (, was prepared to
litigate the case to conclusion with nationally renowned copyright expert David
Nimmer ( Nimmer had committed to
testify that the Oregon publications infringed MSF’s copyrights and, as a
result, could only lawfully publish them pursuant to a license granted by MSF.
However, Buche said MSF’s Board of Trustees was open to revisiting discussions
when the defendants requested a settlement conference to resolve the lawsuit. 

A primary defense in the case had been that MSF did not own the copyright in the
curriculum materials at issue, which date back to 1986. In the settlement,
however, the defendants acknowledge that MSF has valid claims of copyright in
those materials. MSF acknowledged, as it had since the beginning of the dispute,
that Team Oregon has valid claims of copyright in Team Oregon’s materials. “MSF
has always contended that an author owns the copyright to those aspects of a
publication that actually are original to the author,” Buche said. 

MSF has granted permission to Team Oregon to incorporate MSF’s copyrighted works
in the Team Oregon course materials in the State of Oregon. Team Oregon will
note that permission by including the following statement as part of the
copyright statement in all materials for existing Team Oregon courses printed
after May 21, 2008: 

The Team Oregon Motorcycle Safety Program has been granted a license to
incorporate the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's copyrighted materials in this

The Settlement Agreement also states that Team Oregon and the defendants will
not market and/or distribute, and will not permit anyone else to market and/or
distribute, the Team Oregon works outside the State of Oregon. 

“While we needed to protect our intellectual property, as any organization has
an obligation to do, we continued to dedicate our resources to developing
world-class curricula and supporting MSF programs to enhance the safety of our
fellow riders,” Buche said. “That’s been our mission from day one, and that
continues to be our focus as we move forward.” 

MSF curricula, including the Basic RiderCourseSM, will continue to be offered at
U.S. military and National Guard installations in Oregon. MSF curricula also
will continue to be used in Oregon at Harley-Davidson dealerships offering the
Rider’s Edge course. 

A copy of the signed Settlement Agreement is available at 

Since 1973, the MSF has set internationally recognized standards that promote
the safety of motorcyclists with rider education courses, operator licensing
tests, and public information programs. The MSF works with the federal
government, state agencies, the military and others to offer training for all
skill levels so riders may enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling.
The MSF is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by BMW, BRP, Ducati,
Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and

Motorcycle Safety Foundation
Media Relations, 949-727-3227, ext. 3131 

Copyright Business Wire 2008

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