NASCAR Most Popular Driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Supports Older Brother Kerry
|Dale Jr., Dale Sr., and Kerry|
“Obviously, I’m in support of my brother,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. “This is a business venture that he’s put a lot of effort and heart and soul in that I think he deserves. So in this particular case, I side with my brother and his belief to be able to use the name as is. . .”
|Kerry Earnhardt with wife Rene|
Kerry Earnhardt, who is Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s oldest child, and from his first wife, had plans to call the homes “The Earnhardt Collection.”
"Rene and I have worked extremely hard to develop the Earnhardt Collection brand and make it uniquely ours," Kerry Earnhardt said in a statement to ESPN.com "I chose to leave a successful career in racing and could not be happier with what we've been able to achieve in the five years we've been building our home lifestyle brand inspired by our love of the outdoors."
Unfortunately, Dale Sr.’s third wife and widow, Teresa Earnhardt, doesn’t want that name used because she believes it could be confused as an endorsement or sponsorship by the estate of her late husband.
Even more unfortunate, this legal fight has dragged on for several years. A U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruling denied Teresa Earnhardt’s challenge to the “Earnhardt Collection” trademark. Lamentably, she has filed an appeal in federal court.
Kerry took the last name of his stepfather (Key) at the age of three. However, in testimony to the Trademark and Trial Appeal Board, Kerry reported that his father helped him get the Earnhardt name back after they restarted their relationship when he was sixteen.