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Judge agrees to transfer Farley lawsuit against Trek to Wisconsin court

Published June 4, 2018

MADISON, Wis. (BRAIN) — A California judge has agreed to move a lawsuit filed by the family of the late comedian Chris Farley against Trek Bicycle Corp. to the Western District of Wisconsin court here, as Trek had requested.

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Make Him Smile Inc. claims to have rights to the comedian's trademark and objects to the name of a Trek fat bike model, the Farley. 

Trek has said the suit is groundless and said it had been in negotiations with the Farley family before the suit was filed in September last year. Trek was unsuccessful in its bid to get the California court to throw out the suit last fall.  

U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner of the Central District of California court approved the transfer on Friday. Klausner noted that in addition to Trek being based in Wisconsin, Make Him Smile, Inc.'s officers, with the exception of its president, Kevin Farley, all live in Wisconsin. Trek has also told the court that the majority of its witnesses live in Wisconsin or Illinois, and the majority of the case's documentary evidence is in those two states. Klausner noted that Make Him Smile could have brought the action in Wisconsin to begin with.

"Under these circumstance, the Court finds transfer of this matter to the Western District of Wisconsin will promote the convenience of the witnesses and parties and service the interests of justice," Klausner wrote in granting Trek's motion.

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