Judge rules for State Fair over the name “Aksarben Livestock Show”

Exhibitors prepare their cattle for the Aksarben Stock Show.
Exhibitors prepare their cattle for the Aksarben Stock Show.(KSNB)
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 4:47 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KSNB) - The Nebraska State Fair Board got a favorable ruling on a motion to throw out its lawsuit against a former employee who tried to use the name “Aksarben Livestock Show.”

The state fair is suing former employee Greg Harder over the use of the name for the show held annually at Fonner Park. Harder, along with partners Trent and Kelli Loos, formed a corporation called “Nebraskans 4 Youth Livestock” and filed with the Secretary of State to use the “Aksarben Livestock Show” name and its service mark “Livestock Tag with AK.”

The state fair sued, saying that the name and the service tag had been transferred to the fair by the Knights of Aksarben.

The fair originally filed suit in U.S. District Court, but that case was dismissed and the matter is now being heard in Lancaster County District Court in Lincoln.

Harder and the Loos’s filed a motion to dismiss the state fair lawsuit, but this week the district judge overruled that motion, ruling that Harder’s use of the name would impact the public interest, and that the fair has a plausible claim for relief from unfair competition.

The judge also ruled that in addition to Nebraskans 4 Youth Livestock, both Harder and the Loos’s could be personally liable if the state fair’s lawsuit succeeds.

The judge however, threw out the state fair’s claim that the state fair has not produced enough evidence to show that it suffered “tortious interference,” and so dismissed that claim.

The lawsuit is still pending and as of Thursday the case file had no scheduled dates for future hearings.

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