Motorcycle Club’s Attorney Scoffs at FBI Assessment

Image: FBI

A lawyer representing an alleged crime syndicate is crying foul over a Federal Bureau of Investigation assessment that a motorcycle gang trademarked its patch to prevent infiltration by undercover officers.

The FBI assessment, which Threat Level reported Wednesday, concluded that the Vagos Motorcycle Club, which the bureau has declared an outlaw motorcycle gang based in Southern California, has trademarked its jacket patch — replete with the trademark registration symbol — to block “law enforcement agencies from inserting undercover officers” into the club.

“It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” Joseph Yanny, the group’s attorney, said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. Yanny quipped that the bureau, in coming to its conclusions, was likely “interviewing clowns in Vegas.”

The bureau did not respond for immediate comment.

Yanny said the trademarking, which many motorcycle clubs have undertaken, was done “to protect the intellectual property, to prevent it from being knocked off by others, and improper use.”

In a 2011 FBI “law enforcement sensitive” memo (.pdf) the agency’s Phoenix bureau circulated to several FBI offices across the nation, the agency said, “The Vagos believe they will have exclusive rights to the Vagos patch and no one, including undercover officers, would be able to wear the patch without the consent of the International Vagos OMG (Outlaw Motorcycle Gang) leadership.”

The memo, unearthed Tuesday, warns infiltrating law enforcement officers that they “may be placing themselves in danger” if they don’t have the registration symbol at the bottom of the 600-member club’s patch, which is the insignia of Loki, the god of mischief.

The patch became a registered mark last month.