M22 and state reach agreement on trademark issue

Posted at 11:06 AM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-08 14:27:19-05

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Good news for two Michigan brothers with an iconic northern Michigan business.

Keegan and Matt Myers say they have come to an agreement with the State of Michigan to keep their federal trademark on the M22 logo.  They say the settlement means that the state has been released from any grievances about the issue and that the state will dismiss all claims against M22 and they cannot be challenged again.

A State of Michigan spokesperson said the state dropped its challenge, but other parties could still challenge the trademark.

The attorney general’s office also provided the following statement:

“Former Attorney General Bill Schuette initiated this case in December 2013.  It has languished for more than five years without a decision on straightforward legal issues.  And, regardless of the outcome in the current case, there was a very real prospect that this matter would continue winding through the federal courts for several years to come. 

In light of that prospect, and in the interest of allocating the resources of this office to the many pressing issues affecting the health, safety, and welfare of Michiganders throughout the State, Attorney General Dana Nessel has resolved the case on terms that leave intact the State’s right to continue using its century-old highway sign without interference.  The resolution does not suggest in any way that M22, LLC’s use of the state’s sign as a trademark is valid and enforceable under state and federal law.”

The brothers founded the company in 2004 and filed for a federal trademark in 2006, which was awarded in 2007.  In 2012, then Attorney General Bill Schuette said that no one could claim control over a highway marker design due to public domain.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had ruled that after five years of use, the trademark had become “incontestable.”  The brothers and the state had been engaged in a legal battle ever since.

Current Attorney General Dana Nessel re-examined the case and has decided not to move forward with litigation.

M22 creates apparel, accessories and other items. They sell the products online and in stores in Glen Arbor and Traverse City, Michigan.

M22 is a state highway that runs through some of the most scene areas of northern lower Michigan to the Leelanau Peninsula.