On 22 October, a federal judge in Los Angeles granted an injunction prohibiting gang members, relatives and associates from wearing, licensing, selling or distributing patches with the Mongols logo. The case is believed to be the first in which the government has sought to take control of a gang’s identity.
Under an indictment issued last Tuesday, 64 Mongol members have been arrested in 6 states, including Ohio. Federal prosecutors say the Mongols routinely engage in murder, torture, drug trafficking and other offenses.
I am not sure how enforceable this injunction will be. Indeed, if I represented the Mongols, I would certainly challenge this order – on any number of grounds, free speech being foremost.
Perhaps the government would have better luck trying to cancel the trademark registration and be done with it. I don’t foresee the federal government getting in the business of “association services, namely, promoting the interests of persons interested in the recreation of riding motorcycles” – although it does seem to want to get in the business of banking and insurance.