April 29, 2016

Patent Office Issues 154 Patents To Indiana Citizens in February 2016

The U.S. Patent Office issued the following 154 patent registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in February 2016, based on applications filed by Indiana patent attorneys:

Patent No. Title
1 D749,991 Sheet for a patient repositioning system
2 9,269,246 Copper theft alarm for grain bin systems
3 9,267,957 Junction and system for transporting sample racks
4 9,267,953 Method for detection of specific immunoglobulin class G antibodies
5 9,267,911 Encoded biosensors and methods of manufacture and use thereof
6 9,267,773 Broadhead
7 9,267,597 System for adjusting fluid volume in a transmission and method thereof
8 9,267,582 System and method for multiplexing gear engagement control and providing fault protection in a toroidal traction drive automatic transmission

Continue reading "Patent Office Issues 154 Patents To Indiana Citizens in February 2016" »

April 28, 2016

Michael G. Gotsch, Sr. selected as Magistrate Judge for the South Bend Division of the Northern District of Indiana

2016-04-28-BlogPhoto.png

On April 26, 2016 United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana announced that Michael G. Gotsch, Sr. will replace retiring judge Christopher A. Nuechterlein.

Chief Judge Philip P. Simon said "Gotsch has served as a Judge for the State of Indiana for nearly 12 years and has demonstrated the demeanor, intellect, and practical approach to problem solving that will make him an outstanding magistrate judge."

A magistrate's duties include presiding over preliminary proceedings in intellectual property and other cases. Judges may request that a magistrate judge handle pre-trial motions and any settlement attempts.

Judge Gotsch graduated from Notre Dame, St. John's University of New York and Notre Dame Law School. He had served as Circuit Judge, St. Joseph County since 2004. Prior to enrolling in law school, Judge Gotsch served as an officer in the U. S. Army and was honorably discharged as a Captain.

He assumes office at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana at South Bend on August 12, 2016.

April 27, 2016

Indiana Trademark Litigation: Trademark Dispute Between Kimball and Coaster Heads to Federal Court

Evansville, Indiana - An Indiana trademark attorney for Plaintiff Kimball International, Inc. ("Kimball") of Jasper, Indiana filed an intellectual property lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana.

Defendant COA, Inc. d/b/a Coaster Company of America ("Coaster") of Santa Fe Springs, California is accused of infringing Kimball's Trademark KIMBALL, Reg. No. 1,180,193, which has been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by using the trademark without authorization.

2016-04-27-BlogPhoto1.png

In addition to direct trademark infringement, Kimball asserts counts of contributory trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition arising under the Lanham Act as well as violations of the statutes and common law of the State of Indiana.

In particular, Kimball asserts that some of Coaster's retail partners have infringed the KIMBALL trademark at Coaster's behest, including retail giant Sears. As an example of this alleged contributory infringement, Kimball cites Bradley Home Furnishings' website, which Kimball states features an unauthorized "Kimball Bedroom Collection" that originated from Defendant Coaster:

2016-04-27-BlogPhoto2.png

Kimball indicates in the complaint that it first informed Defendant less than a month before this lawsuit was filed that it believed it held superior rights to the KIMBALL trademark but states that Coaster "continues its unlawful use of the KIMBALL Mark and continues to encourage, induce, and materially contribute to its retail partners' unlawful use of the KIMBALL Mark."

In this litigation, filed by an Indiana trademark lawyer for Kimball, the following counts are alleged:

• Count I: Infringement of Federally Registered Marks - 15 U.S.C. § 1114
• Count II: False Designation of Origin - 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)
• Count III: Contributory Trademark Infringement
• Count IV: Common Law Unfair Competition
• Count V: Deception - Indiana Code § 35-43-5-3(a)(6)
• Count VI: Conversion - Indiana Code § 35-43-4-3

• Count VII: Indiana Crime Victim's Relief Act - Indiana Code § 35-24-3-1

Among other remedies, Kimball seeks equitable relief, actual and treble damages, costs and attorneys' fees.

Continue reading "Indiana Trademark Litigation: Trademark Dispute Between Kimball and Coaster Heads to Federal Court" »

April 22, 2016

182 Trademark Registrations Issued to Indiana Companies in March 2016

The U.S. Trademark Office issued the following 182 trademark registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in January 2016 based on applications filed by Indiana trademark attorneys:

Registration No.  Word Mark Click To View
4925344 DRINK INDIANA BEER GREAT BEER MADE HERE TSDR
4914831 BEEZA TSDR
4914607 NU VU FUELS TSDR
4929228 RIGHT PART, RIGHT TIME, EVERY TIME TSDR
4927652 AMERICAN EAGLE TSDR
4927623 LAREDO TSDR
4927568 MATCHA-GO! TSDR
4927517 JUNKYARD GODDESS TSDR
4927490 TELLTHEWORLD TSDR
4927355 GAME CHANGER TSDR
4927317 FARM TO FETE TSDR
4927315 FARM TO MEETING TSDR
4927264 B TSDR

Continue reading " 182 Trademark Registrations Issued to Indiana Companies in March 2016" »

April 21, 2016

Indiana Patent Litigation: Bloomington-Based Cook Medical Sued for Patent Infringement

2016-04-22-blogPhoto.png

Indianapolis, Indiana - Patent attorneys for Plaintiff Stone Basket Innovations LLC ("SBI") of Austin, Texas filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas asserting patent infringement. The case was transferred to the Southern District of Indiana.

Plaintiff SBI alleges that Defendant Cook Medical LLC ("Cook") of Bloomington, Indiana infringed U.S. Patent No. 6,551,327 (the "'327 patent") entitled "Endoscopic Stone Extraction Device with Improved Basket." This litigation lists that assertion, "infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,551,327," as its sole count.

SBI seeks a judgment that Cook has infringed one or more of the claims of the '327 patent literally and/or under the doctrine of equivalents. Further, SBI asks the court to determine that Cook's infringement was willful and that the case is exceptional.

Plaintiff asks the court for injunctive relief and compensatory damages. It also seeks an award of enhanced damages under 35 U.S.C. § 284 and attorney fees and costs under 35 U.S.C. § 285.

Continue reading "Indiana Patent Litigation: Bloomington-Based Cook Medical Sued for Patent Infringement" »

April 19, 2016

Indiana Cable & Satellite TV Litigation: DISH Accuses Indianapolis Man of Interception

2016-04-19-BlogPhoto.png

Indianapolis, Indiana - In conjunction with Texas co-counsel, an Indiana attorney for Plaintiffs DISH Network L.L.C., Echostar Technologies L.L.C. and Nagrastar LLC, all of Englewood, Colorado, filed an intellectual property lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Federal Communications Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

Plaintiffs contend that Defendant John Ladd Sr. of Indianapolis, Indiana circumvented DISH Network's security system by illegally obtaining its control words, also known as "keys," and using those keys to decrypt and view DISH Network's copyrighted programming.

In the complaint, filed Friday in Indiana district court, the following claims are made:

• Count I: Circumventing An Access Control Measure In Violation Of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1)
• Count II: Receiving Satellite Signals Without Authorization in Violation of the Federal Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. § 605(a)

• Count III: Intercepting Satellite Signals in Violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2511(1)(a) and 2520

Plaintiffs seek various forms of redress including: injunctive relief, statutory and punitive damages, costs, investigative expenses and attorneys' fees.

Overhauser Law Offices, the publisher of this website, has represented several hundred persons and businesses accused of infringing satellite signals.

Continue reading "Indiana Cable & Satellite TV Litigation: DISH Accuses Indianapolis Man of Interception" »

April 18, 2016

Indiana Intellectual Property Litigation: Former Employee of Sign Company Accused of Unfair Competition

2016-04-18-BlogPhoto.png

Hammond, Indiana - An Indiana attorney for Plaintiff Landmark Signs, Inc. of Chesterton, Indiana filed an intellectual property lawsuit in the Northern District of Indiana.

Plaintiff Landmark states that it has been designing, fabricating, installing, and repairing signs throughout the U.S. for over thirty years. It claims to use at least two trademarks in connection with its business: a "Landmark" trademark, which it claims to have used at least as early as October 1983, and a stylized "Landmark Sign Group" trademark, which it claims to have used at least as early as March 1, 1999.

Landmark states that it holds various trademark rights, including federal trademark Registration No. 2,932,838, which was issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as well as state registrations issued by Indiana and Illinois. Landmark also has a pending federal trademark application for "Landmark Sign Group" that seeks intellectual property protection for the mark in connection with services not listed in its currently registered federal trademark.

Defendants in this federal litigation are I C U Outdoor Advertising LLC ("ICU") and ICU's owner Lawrence Yurko, both of Valparaiso, Indiana. Yurko is a former employee of Landmark. He and ICU are accused of various violations of federal and Indiana state law, including trademark infringement, deceptive trade practices and using Yurko's position at Landmark to advance the interests of ICU.

This lawsuit, filed by an Indiana lawyer for Landmark, lists the following claims:

• Count I: Federal Unfair Competition in Violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)(l)(A)
• Count II: Federal Unfair Competition in Violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)(l)(B)
• Count III: Breach of Fiduciary Duty
• Count IV: Indiana Unfair Competition and Tortious Interference with a Business Relationship
• Count V: Tortious Interference with a Prospective Economic Advantage
• Count VI: Illinois Deceptive Trade Practices
• Count VII: Federal Trademark Infringement

• Count VIII: Indiana and Illinois Trademark Infringement

Landmark seeks equitable relief, damages, including punitive damages, costs and attorneys' fees.

Continue reading "Indiana Intellectual Property Litigation: Former Employee of Sign Company Accused of Unfair Competition" »

April 14, 2016

Indiana Patent Litigation: Infringement of Collision Warning Patent Alleged in Indiana Lawsuit

2016-04-14-BlogPhoto.png

Indianapolis, Indiana - Patent lawyers for Plaintiff Gary D. Pignato of Illinois filed an infringement lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana against Defendants Mobileye, Inc. of Jericho, New York and its parent company Mobileye N.V. of Jerusalem, Israel.

Defendants have been sued on allegations of infringing U.S. Patent No. 6,240,346 ("the '346 patent"), titled "System with Light Display and Data Recorder for Monitoring Vehicle in Relation to Adjacent Vehicle." The '346 patent is directed to a system for mounting in a vehicle for monitoring leading and trailing vehicles as well as generating and storing data relating to these vehicles, such as speed and proximity to the vehicle containing the technology. This patent has been issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants' Mobileye 5-Series line of driver-assistance systems, and in particular the Mobileye 560 System, include Forward Collision Warning technology that infringes the '346 patent. Plaintiff asserts that, although it offered to license to Defendants the technology protected by the '346 patent, Defendants instead chose to manufacture the accused products without such a license and, in doing so, infringe multiple claims of Plaintiff's patent.

In this lawsuit, filed by Indiana patent attorneys for Plaintiff, the following claims are alleged:

• Count I: Direct Infringement of the '346 Patent
• Count II: Inducement to Infringe the '346 Patent

• Count III: Contributory Infringement of the '346 Patent

Plaintiff Pignato seeks injunctive relief; damages, including treble damages if infringement is found and determined to be willful; costs and attorneys' fees.

Continue reading "Indiana Patent Litigation: Infringement of Collision Warning Patent Alleged in Indiana Lawsuit" »

April 13, 2016

Indiana Copyright Litigation: Wine & Canvas Accused of Copyright Infringement

Indianapolis, Indiana - An attorney for Plaintiff Megan Aroon Duncanson of Florida commenced litigation in the Southern District of Indiana alleging copyright infringement.

Defendants in this lawsuit are Wine and Canvas IP Holdings LLC (Indianapolis, Indiana) ("IP Holdings") and the following entities, which Plaintiff contends are "licensees" of Wine and Canvas IP Holdings: Wine and Canvas Development, LLC (Indianapolis, Indiana), WNC of Cincinnati LLC (Ohio), WNC of Columbus LLC (Ohio), WNC of Dayton LLC (Ohio), WNC of Detroit LLC (Michigan), WNC of Des Moines LLC (Iowa), WNC of Fort Wayne LLC (Indiana), WNC of Las Vegas LLC (Nevada), WNC of Napa Sonoma LLC (California), WNC of Odessa LLC (Texas), WNC of Portland LLC (Oregon), WNC of South Bend LLC (Indiana), WNC of San Francisco LLC (California), Tamara McCracken a/k/a Tamra Scott (Indiana) and Anthony Scott (Indiana).

Under the business names "Wine and Canvas" and "Wine & Canvas," Defendants offer art classes to students who paint while enjoying cocktails. Each class involves a "Featured Painting" that the students paint, which is purportedly selected by a licensee from a portfolio maintained by IP Holdings. That painting is also allegedly displayed on the IP Holdings website prior to the class. Plaintiff contends that IP holdings "often credits the author of the painting as simply 'Wine and Canvas.'"

Plaintiff contends that by using her works, Defendants infringed the following copyrights-in-suit, which have been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office:

2016-04-13-photo1-1.png

The following two works were copyrighted as part of collections titled "Published Paintings 2006" and "Published Paintings 2008" and are also at issue in the lawsuit:

2016-04-13-photo2-2.png

In this federal lawsuit filed under the Copyright Act, Plaintiff avers direct, contributory, and vicarious contributory copyright infringement of her rights to reproduce, make derivative works, and publicly display her works. The copyright lawyer for Plaintiff lists 36 counts in total, with the first 7 asserting copyright infringement before registration of the works and the remainder asserting infringement after registration.

Plaintiff Duncanson contends that both IP Holdings and its licensees acted willfully and knowingly. She seeks various forms of relief, including equitable relief; damages, with enhanced damages for acts found to be willful; costs and attorney fees.

Practice Tip: Wine & Canvas has litigated in Indiana federal courts in the past alleging infringement of its trademark. See, e.g.:

Wine & Canvas Development Sues YN Canvas & Art Uncorked for Trademark Infringement of the WC Marks
Wine & Canvas Litigation Narrowed and Clarified by Court
Southern District of Indiana Dismisses Wine & Canvas' Suit for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction
Court Strikes Response Brief Due to Untimely, Overlong Filing

Trademark Plaintiff Abused Legal Process; Trademark Defendant Awarded an Additional $175,000 in Attorneys' Fees

Continue reading "Indiana Copyright Litigation: Wine & Canvas Accused of Copyright Infringement" »

April 6, 2016

Indiana Trademark and Copyright Litigation: Coach Sues Indiana Retailer on Allegations of Counterfeiting

2016-04-06-blogphoto.png

South Bend, Indiana - Intellectual property attorneys for Plaintiffs Coach, Inc. of New York, New York and Coach Services, Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida (collectively, "Coach") filed an intellectual property complaint in the Northern District of Indiana.

Coach contends that Defendants Zip Thru Mart, Charles Estok Sr., and Janice Estok, all of Knox, Indiana, infringed various Coach trademarks, which have been registered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In addition to trademark infringement under the Lanham Act, Coach asserts that Defendants have committed trade dress infringement, trademark dilution and counterfeiting under the Lanham Act, copyright infringement under the Copyright Act, as well as trademark infringement, unfair competition and unjust enrichment under Indiana common law.

Coach's allegations stem from Defendants' purported "designing, manufacturing, advertising, promoting, distributing, selling, and/or offering for sale" products that bear counterfeit Coach trademarks. Defendants are further accused of having engaged in this behavior "negligently and/or knowingly and intentionally, with reckless disregard or willful blindness to Coach's rights, or with bad faith."

In support of its allegations of infringement and related conduct, Coach states that it sent an investigator to the Zip Thru Mart. Its investigator saw multiple items bearing Coach trademarks, which Coach contends were counterfeit. Additional goods bearing purportedly counterfeit trademarks were seized by a Homeland Security Investigations officer during a subsequent visit to the business.

The intellectual property listed in this litigation includes numerous trademarks for "Coach," "Coach New York," "CC," "Poppy" and similar trademarks. Coach also claims infringement of its copyrights, listing copyright registrations, registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, for its "Legacy Stripe" design (registration number VA000704542)  "Signature C" design (registration number VA0001228917),  "Op Art" design (registration number VA0001694574) and "Horse & Carriage" design (registration number VA0001714051).

In this Indiana lawsuit, filed by trademark and copyright attorneys for Coach, the intellectual property claims are listed as follows:

• Count I: Trademark Counterfeiting, 15 U.S.C. § 1114
• Count II: Trademark Infringement, 15 U.S.C. § 1114
• Count III: Trade Dress Infringement, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)
• Count IV: False Designation of Origin and False Advertising, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)
• Count V: Trademark Dilution, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c)
• Count VI: Copyright Infringement, 17 U.S.C. § 501
• Count VII: Common Law Trademark Infringement
• Count VIII: Common Law Unfair Competition

• Count IX: Unjust Enrichment

In addition to statutory damages of $2 million per counterfeit mark, per type of counterfeit good, Coach seeks equitable relief; additional damages, both statutory and punitive; costs and attorneys' fees.

Practice Tip: Coach has a history of requesting statutory damages that are considerably in excess of what has eventually been awarded by the courts. For example, in Coach, Inc. v. Paula's Store Sportwear LLC, 2014 WL 347893 (D.N.J. Jan. 31, 2014), Coach requested $800,000 in statutory damages - $100,000 for each of eight counterfeited marks - from a shop from which four counterfeit Coach wallets and two counterfeit Coach handbags had been seized. When awarding damages to Coach, the court noted that the retail value of the six counterfeit items was less than $1500 and awarded $5000 for each of the eight marks that had been counterfeited, multiplied by the two types of goods, for a total statutory damages award of $80,000.

Continue reading "Indiana Trademark and Copyright Litigation: Coach Sues Indiana Retailer on Allegations of Counterfeiting" »

April 5, 2016

Indiana Copyright Litigation: Design Basics Files Two Additional Infringement Lawsuits in the Northern District

South Bend, Indiana - Plaintiff Design Basics, LLC of Omaha, Nebraska filed two additional lawsuits in the Northern District of Indiana. Both complaints, filed by Indiana attorneys for Design Basics, allege violations of copyright law.

Defendant in the first lawsuit is Straight Talk Construction, Inc. of Goshen, Indiana. Defendants in the second lawsuit are W R Birkey & Associates Inc., doing business as Birkey Homes and W.R. Birkey Realty; and Wayne Birkey, doing business as Birkey Homes and W.R. Birkey Realty of Granger, Indiana (collectively, "Birkey"). Plaintiff alleges that Defendants in both lawsuits infringed its copyrighted architectural designs, which have been filed with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Copyrights alleged to have been infringed by Straight Talk:

Title                                    Registration Certificate Nos. 

Plan No. 8095 - Sun Valley   VA 729-290, 729-256
Plan No. 3121 - Bellamy       VA 624-158, 624-159 & 710-606

Plaintiff contends that Straight Talk committed infringement when it published, distributed, marketed, advertised and/or constructed in the marketplace Design Basics' copyrighted architectural designs, which were offered by Straight Talk as "The Jordan," "The 1009 Parade Home" and "Sunrise."

Copyrights alleged to have been infringed by Birkey:

Title                                       Registration Certificate Nos. 

Plan No. 1032 - Monte Vista    VA 282-203, 694-095 & 752-162
Plan No. 1330 - Trenton           VA 314-016, 694-094 & 756-041
Plan No. 1455 - Newberry         VA 344-857, 694-093 & 710-605
Plan No. 1559 - Bancroft          VA 344-870, 694-094 & 752-162
Plan No. 1752 - Lancaster        VA 371-204, 694-094 & 756-041
Plan No. 2244 - Standley          VA 434-218 & 752-162
Plan No. 2249 - Normandy        VA 434-208, 694-088 & 726-372
Plan No. 2285 - Prairie              VA 467-639, 694-094, 726-354& 1-921-718
Plan No. 2408 - Crawford          VA 485-123, 694-093, 756-041& 1-921-776
Plan No. 2414 - Stanton            VA 485-125, 694-093, 726-361& 1-926-487
Plan No. 2656 - Castelar           VA 542-694, 826-741 & 1-926-492
Plan No. 2701 - Ambrose          VA 524-308, 694-093, 710-606& 1-926-479
Plan No. 2702 - Ellison              VA 542-690 & 1-926-477

The Birkey Defendants are alleged to have infringed Plaintiff's works by copying, publishing, distributing, advertising, marketing, selling and/or constructing in the marketplace Plaintiff's copyrighted material. The purportedly infringing designs are marketed by Birkey under the following model names: Andrea, Appleton, Ashbury, Belmont, Bridgeport, Britney, Hallbrook, Heather Lake, Kensington, Kingsbury, Megan, Miranda, Normandy, Oakridge, Sawyer, Sherwood, Sinclair, and Zachery.

Design Basics seeks equitable relief, damages, costs and attorneys' fees.

Practice Tip: Design Basics has filed numerous federal complaints alleging copyright infringement. In Indiana, it has filed 10 separate lawsuits since February: Design Basics Sues Builders and Others Alleging Infringement of Copyrighted Architectural Designs, Design Basics Files Additional Indiana Lawsuit and Plan Pros Added as Plaintiff in Newest Design Basics Lawsuit. Nationwide, Design Basics, or entities that appear to be related to the company, has filed more than 60 intellectual property lawsuits since 2008 in the federal courts of Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Continue reading "Indiana Copyright Litigation: Design Basics Files Two Additional Infringement Lawsuits in the Northern District" »

March 31, 2016

Copyright Litigation: Authors and Authors Guild Ask to be Heard by Supreme Court in Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Google

2016-03-31-blogphoto.png

Washington, D.C. - Following a ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of Google, Inc., the 2005 class-action lawsuit The Authors Guild et al. v. Google, Inc. has headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Copyright litigators for Plaintiffs The Authors Guild et al. are asking the high court to hear the lawsuit, which alleges copyright infringement by the publication by Google of Google's digital book library. Plaintiffs contend that Google, which seeks permission from the owners of the copyrighted works (typically libraries) but not from the authors of the works, has committed massive copyright infringement. Amicus curiae briefs have been filed with the Court by numerous parties. Among them are several notable authors including Malcolm Gladwell, Margaret Atwood, and Steven Sondheim.

Google has defended against the allegations by arguing, inter alia, that its use of the copyrighted material was permissible as a fair use.

Circuit Judge Denny Chin, sitting by designation, issued the opinion for the Southern District of New York. He agreed with Google that its use of the material was properly classified as a fair use, writing:

In my view, Google Books provides significant public benefits. It advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders. It has become an invaluable research tool that permits students, teachers, librarians, and others to more efficiently identify and locate books. It has given scholars the ability, for the first time, to conduct full-text searches of tens of millions of books. It preserves books, in particular out-of-print and old books that have been forgotten in the bowels of libraries, and it gives them new life. It facilitates access to books for print-disabled and remote or underserved populations. It generates new audiences and creates new sources of income for authors and publishers. Indeed, all society benefits.

The Second Circuit affirmed.

The questions presented by Plaintiffs to the Supreme Court are:

1. Whether, in order to be "transformative" under the fair-use exception to copyright, the use of the copyrighted work must produce "new expression, meaning, or message," as this Court stated in Campbell and as the Third, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuits have held, or whether the verbatim copying of works for a different, non-expressive purpose can be a transformative fair use, as the Second, Fourth, and Ninth Circuits have held.
2. Whether the Second Circuit's approach to fair use improperly makes "transformative purpose" the decisive factor, replacing the statutory four-factor test, as the Seventh Circuit has charged.
3. Whether the Second Circuit erred in concluding that a commercial business may evade liability for verbatim copying by arguing that the recipients of those copies will use them for lawful and beneficial purposes, a rationale that has been flatly rejected by the Sixth Circuit.

4. Whether a membership association of authors may assert copyright infringement claims on behalf of its members.

Continue reading "Copyright Litigation: Authors and Authors Guild Ask to be Heard by Supreme Court in Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Google" »

March 29, 2016

Indiana Trademark Litigation: Numerous Defendants Accused of Misusing Certification Marks

South Bend, Indiana - An Indiana trademark attorney for Plaintiffs National Association of Forensic Counselors, Inc. ("NAFC") and American Academy of Certified Forensic Counselors, Inc. d/b/a American College of Certified Forensic Counselors ("ACCFC"), both of Fort Wayne, Indiana, commenced litigation in the Northern District of Indiana alleging trademark infringement.

Plaintiffs offer certifications, for example "Master Addictions Counselor," to individuals working with criminal offenders in the fields of criminal justice, corrections, addictions and mental health. Defendants in this litigation include individuals as well as organizations offering such services. They are as follows:

NARCONON INTERNATIONAL of California; NARCONON OF GEORGIA, INC. of Georgia; FRIENDS OF NARCONON INTL. of California; PREMAZON, INC. of California; NARCONON SPRING HILL, INC., d/b/a SUNCOAST REHABILITATION CENTER of Florida; BEST DRUG REHABILITATION, INC. of Nevada; A LIFE WORTH LIVING, INC. d/b/a NARCONON COLORADO - A LIFE WORTH SAVING of Colorado; NARCONON FRESH START, INC. of California; NARCONON SOUTH TEXAS, INC. of Texas; NARCONON EASTERN UNITED STATES, INC. of Virginia; ASSOCIATION FOR BETTER LIVING AND EDUCATION INTERNATIONAL of California; RELIGIOUS TECHNOLOGY CENTER of California; NARCONON FREEDOM CENTER, INC. of Michigan; GOLDEN MILLENNIUM PRODUCTIONS of California; INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF SPECIALISTS of California; GREATCIRCLE STUDIOS of Florida; CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL of California; ROYALMARK MANAGEMENT of California; ROBERT J. HERNANDEZ of California; ROBERT "BOBBY" WIGGINS of California; JONATHAN BEAZLEY of California; JOSEPH GUERNACCINI of California; PHILIP R. KELLY II of California; THOMAS GARCIA of Florida; CLARK CARR of California; MICHAEL DAPALMA of California; DAVID MISCAVIGE of California; NICHOLAS THIEL of Michigan; DAVID S. LEE of Indiana; RICHARD "MATTHEW" HAWK of Louisiana; MARY RIESER of Georgia; ANTHONY BYLSMA of California; KENNETH POMERANCE of Florida; JAMES "JIM" WOODWORTH of Louisiana; CARL SMITH of California; JONATHAN MROETTI of California; GLEN PETCAVAGE of Colorado; DAPHNA HERNANDEZ of California; LURIA K. DION a/k/a KATHY DION of California; and NARCONON OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA d/b/a NARCONON VISTA BAY d/b/a NARCONON REDWOOD CLIFFS of California.

As part of its certification program, Plaintiffs utilize a federally registered trademark, which is included in Plaintiffs' logo:

2016-03-29-Blogphoto2.png

NAFC and ACCFC allege that Defendants have infringed its trademark, which has been registered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as Federal Trademark Registration No. 3,585,933. Defendants are also accused of misusing Plaintiffs' certifications and logos.

The following violations of law have been alleged by Plaintiffs:

• Federal Trademark Infringement
• Common Law Trademark Infringement
• Federal Infringement Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §1125

• Civil Conspiracy

Plaintiffs seek various forms of redress including preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, damages, costs and attorney's fees.

Continue reading "Indiana Trademark Litigation: Numerous Defendants Accused of Misusing Certification Marks" »

March 28, 2016

Indiana Trademark Litigation: Great American Bagel Sues Over Sign Modified to Read "Great American Eagle"

Evansville, Indiana - An Indiana trademark lawyer for Plaintiff The Great American Bagel Enterprises, Inc. ("GAB") of Westmont, Illinois filed a trademark infringement complaint in the Southern District of Indiana against Defendants United HBA Corporation and Harbhajan Singh, d/b/a The Great American Eagle, both of Evansville, Indiana.

GAB owns, operates and franchises food-products stores known as The Great American Bagel. It owns a trademark for "The Great American Bagel," Trademark Registration No. 2,015,665, which is comprised of the phrase "The Great American Bagel" with stars and bands. The mark has been registered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

2016-03-28-blogphoto1.png

Defendant United HBA operates a gas station and convenience store, which offers retail food products. Defendant Singh is listed as the President and sole principal of United HBA. GAB contends that United HBA is displaying a sign that had previously been used as signage for a The Great American Bagel store. GAB states that Defendants modified "Bagel" to read "Eagle" by removing the "B" and adding an "E" but that the sign is otherwise unaltered.

2016-03-28-blogphoto2.png

GAB alleges infringement of its trademark, stating that Defendants' use of the modified sign has caused customers to confuse the food products offered by GAB with those offered by Defendants. In this federal lawsuit, filed by an Indiana trademark attorney, the following claims are made:

• Count I: Federal Trademark Infringement
• Count II: False Designation of Origin, False Advertising and Unfair Competition under the Lanham Act Section 43(A)
• Count III: Unfair Competition - Trade Name Infringement
• Count IV: Unfair Competition - Passing Off

• Count V: Unjust Enrichment

GAB seeks equitable relief, damages, including punitive damages; costs and attorney's fees.


Continue reading "Indiana Trademark Litigation: Great American Bagel Sues Over Sign Modified to Read "Great American Eagle"" »

March 25, 2016

Fox News Asserts Broadcast TV Database Infringes Copyright; EFF and Others Claim Fair Use

2016-03-25-BlogPhoto.png

San Francisco, California - A media monitoring service that creates a text-searchable database of television and radio content is defending its fair use rights before a federal appeals court. The Electronic Frontier Foundation ("EFF"), New York University's Technology Law and Policy Clinic, and Public Knowledge urged the court Wednesday to protect this innovative technology--and others that have yet to be developed--from being shut down by copyright infringement claims.

"Search engines and book digitization have proven the enormous social benefits of indexing and archiving the media," said EFF Staff Attorney Kit Walsh. "This case is the latest in a long line of copyright-based challenges to these important tools, and it should fail just as the others have."

In this case, Fox News sued a company called TVEyes, claiming the company's broadcast content database--used by journalists, scholars, and political campaigns to study and monitor the national media--infringed its copyright in its programming. The district court acknowledged that the service is generally a fair use of copyrighted material, but then, in a second ruling, held that some of the features of the TVEyes database could facilitate infringement, including the ability to share links or search by date and time. In a departure from established legal precedent, the court ruled that this was enough to defeat TVEyes' fair use defense.

TVEyes appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In an amicus brief filed Wednesday, EFF and its partners argued that the law does not impose liability on a toolmaker based on the possibility that users will misuse a tool, except in limited circumstances not present here and not even alleged by Fox News.

"TVEyes' liability should not turn on the hypothetical conduct of its users," said EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry. "If the district court decision is upheld, all kinds of new technologies could be at risk. We are asking the appeals court to follow the law and reject Fox News' claims."

For the full amicus brief: https://www.eff.org/document/amicus-brief-37

For more on Fox News v. TVEyes: https://www.eff.org/cases/fox-news-v-tveyes

This edited article was provided by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit group which advocates for innovators and users of technology. The article has been licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.