The 1970s and beyond: Wait, things get even worse for the Indian trademark

Clymer’s widow sold the Indian trademark to her husband’s ex-lawyer, who continued to import bikes from Italy and Taiwan. The lawyer’s company went bankrupt in 1977, and the trademark was claimed by a number of companies ― often at the same time ― for the next 20 years or so.

According to USPTO records, the trademark was sold at least eight times between 1970 and 1992. Some guy named Phil Zanghi seems to have sold it to himself a couple of times in that period. Derbi Motor Corp. of America owned it for one day: August 12, 1983.

In 1992, a new entity called American Indian Motorcycle Co. filed a cancellation petition with the USPTO, alleging that any previous trademarks were invalidated by lack of use and because previous claimants had submitted fraudulent information.

In the mid-‘90s an entrepreneur/promoter named Wayne Baughman also talked a good game, and even built a couple of prototype ‘Century Chiefs’ although he does not appear to have ever had a legitimate claim to the famous trademark.