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State Fair suing over Aksarben livestock show

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 9:35 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KSNB) - The Nebraska State Fair Board is suing a former employee and a prominent Nebraska farm spokesman and his wife over the name of the Aksarben livestock show.

The lawsuit was filed in July in U.S. District Court in Lincoln. The fair board is suing an organization called Nebraskans 4 Youth Livestock as well as former employee Greg Harder and Trent and Kelli Loos.

The suit alleges that Nebraskans 4 Youth Livestock filed paperwork with the Nebraska Secretary of State to claim use of the name “Aksarben Stock Show” and a service mark called “Livestock Tag with AK.” Harder had been in charge of the livestock show while employed by the state fair. He was fired September 28, 2020. He had formed Nebraskans 4 Youth Livestock about two weeks before that and had filed the paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office about four days before he was fired.

The lawsuit claims that the state fair board has asked Harder, the Loos’s and Nebraskans 4 Youth Livestock to relinquish the trade name and the service mark, but so far they have not done so. The fair board claims it has suffered harm and damage from trademark dilution, trademark infringement, and unfair competition, The fair board claims that Harder “wrongfully took and converted the trade name, trade secrets and confidential information for his own use...”

The fair board is asking for a jury trial and court orders to prevent Nebraskans 4 Youth Livestock, Harder and Trent and Kelli Loos from unlawful acts. They are also asking for damages which would be determined at trial.

No trial date is set. The federal court ordered Harder and the Loos’s to respond to the lawsuit by Tuesday.

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