July 2, 2015

Indiana Copyright Litigation: Bell Rings in the Holiday Weekend with a New Copyright Lawsuit

Indianapolis, Indiana - Indiana copyright lawyer and professional photographer Richard Bell of McCordsville, Indiana filed a federal intellectual property lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana. He alleges copyright infringement by Randolph Ventures, LLC of Peoria, Illinois. At issue is a copyrighted photo of the Indianapolis skyline taken by Bell that has been registered by the U.S. Copyright Office.

In 2000, Plaintiff Bell photographed the downtown Indianapolis skyline. Bell indicates in this Indiana complaint that the photo has been registered by the U.S. Copyright Office as Registration Number VA0001785115.

In this Indiana lawsuit for copyright infringement, Bell asserts that Defendant Randolph Ventures used Bell's copyrighted image without permission when it displayed the photo to advertise its business on the Internet at http://webdesign309.com/indianapolis/. Bell claims that the limited liability company that he sued "willfully and recklessly falsely claimed that he owned the copyrights of all images and photos" contained on that website, including Bell's photo of Indianapolis. Bell asserts that Defendant has thus profited from the use of the copyrighted photo.

In this single-defendant lawsuit, Bell contends that "as a direct and proximate result of their wrongful conduct, Defendants have [sic] realized and continue to realize profits and other benefits rightfully belonging to Plaintiff." The acts in question are alleged to have been committed willfully and deliberately and with oppression, fraud, and malice.

In this federal complaint, which copyright attorney Bell filed on his own behalf, counts of copyright infringement and unfair competition are asserted. Bell asks for an accounting of all gains, profits and advantages derived by Defendant Randolph Ventures as a result of the alleged infringement and for statutory and/or actual damages. He also seeks reimbursement of costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.

Practice Tip: Richard Bell has sued hundreds of defendants for copyright infringement in the Indiana federal courts. Previous blog posts regarding his litigation include:

Bell Files New Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
Bell Sues Georgia-Base FindTicketsFast.com for Copyright Infringement
Richard Bell Files Two New Copyright Infringement Lawsuits
Court Prevents Copyright Plaintiff Bell from Outmaneuvering Legal System; Orders Bell to Pay Almost $34,000 in Fees and Costs
Three Default Judgments of $2,500 Ordered for Copyright Infringement
Court Orders Severance of Misjoined Copyright Infringement Complaint

Richard Bell Files Another Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Continue reading "Indiana Copyright Litigation: Bell Rings in the Holiday Weekend with a New Copyright Lawsuit" »

July 1, 2015

156 Trademark Registrations Issued to Indiana Companies in June 2015

The U.S. Trademark Office issued the following 156 trademark registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in June 2015 based on applications filed by Indiana trademark attorneys:

Registration No.  Word Mark Click To View
4762035 EASY, DO-IT-YOURSELF SIGNS, FREE, SIGNCREATOR DEFLECTO.COM/SIGNCREATOR, ONLINE, CUSTOMIZABLE TEMPLATES VIEW
4760442 PREPARED TO BE A PIONEER VIEW
4760361 M.E.T.A.: MAPPING EDUCATION TOWARDS ACHIEVEMENT VIEW
4760354 OPOCOFI BREWING VIEW
4760110 MS VIEW
4760087 F.A.D.E: VIEW
4760077 WHERE BEAUTIFUL THINGS BEGIN VIEW
4759863 3 FLOYDS VIEW
4759737 MOVE YOUR FEET SO OTHERS CAN EAT VIEW
4759647 LIVEGREENANDPROSPER VIEW

Continue reading " 156 Trademark Registrations Issued to Indiana Companies in June 2015" »

June 29, 2015

Seventh Circuit Trademark Law: District Court Has Discretion Regarding Award of Attorneys' Fees Under Lanham Act

Chicago, Illinois - The Seventh Circuit affirmed the denial of attorneys' fees under the Lanham Act by the District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

Plaintiff William Burford and Defendant Accounting Practice Sales, Inc. ("APS") were parties to a contract under which Burford had agreed to market and facilitate the purchase and sale of accounting practices on behalf of APS. APS terminated the contract. Shortly thereafter, Burford started a competing business. For this business, Burford chose the name "American Accounting Practice Sales." Burford also sued APS and Gary Holmes, the owner of APS, for breach of contract.

In response to Burford's contract-claims lawsuit, APS filed a four-count counterclaim. Included in those counterclaims was an allegation that Burford had misappropriated APS's trade name in violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1051 et seq. by using the business name "American Accounting Practice Sales."

The district court held for APS on the contract claim, reasoning that the contract between the parties was of indefinite duration and was therefore terminable at will. After this ruling in favor of APS, but before the district court could consider the counterclaim, APS voluntarily dismissed its counterclaim under the Lanham Act with prejudice.

Burford then contended that, as the prevailing party on the Lanham Act claim, he was entitled to attorneys' fees under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a), asserting that APS's pursuit of the Lanham Act claim was meritless and amounted to an abuse of process. The district court refused to grant attorneys' fees on the theory that APS's claim under the Lanham Act claim could have been pursued by a rational party seeking to protect its trademark.

Burford appealed. As part of his appeal, he asked the Seventh Circuit to reverse the district court's denial of his request for attorneys' fees under the Lanham Act. Circuit Judges William J. Bauer and David F. Hamilton, and District Court Judge Sara L. Ellis, sitting by designation, heard the matter.

The Seventh Circuit first held that the district court had erred in holding that the contract had not been breached. While indefinite-term contracts are by default terminable at will, it noted that the parties had contracted around that general rule by providing that APS could terminate the contract only if Burford violated the terms of the contract. On this issue, the Seventh Circuit reversed the district court.

On the question of attorneys' fees, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court. Under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a)(3), district courts have the discretion to award attorneys' fees to those prevailing under the Act in "exceptional cases." Such an "exceptional case" within the meaning of the Lanham Act can be found in those cases where the district court determines that the decision to bring the claim could be called an abuse of process.

In turn, such an abuse of process can be discerned in cases where, for example, "a rational litigant would pursue [the claim] only because it would impose disproportionate costs on his opponent" or where there was evidence that the party advancing the Lanham Act claim had done so "to obtain an advantage unrelated to obtaining a favorable judgment."

The Seventh Circuit noted that Burford had failed to persuade the district court that the pursuit of the claim was objectively unreasonable or was intended to harass or to obtain an advantage unrelated to winning a favorable judgment. Consequently, because decision whether to award attorneys' fees under the Lanham Act is left to the district court's sound discretion, the lower court's refusal to grant such fees was affirmed.

Continue reading "Seventh Circuit Trademark Law: District Court Has Discretion Regarding Award of Attorneys' Fees Under Lanham Act" »

June 26, 2015

Indiana Copyright Litigation: Bell Files New Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Indianapolis, Indiana - Indiana copyright attorney and professional photographer Richard N. Bell of McCordsville, Indiana has sued PROACT Search LLC of Wilmette, Illinois in the Southern District of Indiana on allegations of copyright infringement. At issue is a copyrighted photo of the Indianapolis skyline taken by Bell that has been registered by the U.S. Copyright Office.

In 2000, Plaintiff Bell photographed the downtown Indianapolis skyline. Bell indicates in this Indiana complaint that the photo has been registered by the U.S. Copyright Office as Registration Number VA0001785115.

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PROACT Search, which does business on the Internet at www.proactsearch.com, advertises itself as a national executive search firm that assists school districts to fill leadership-level job vacancies.

In this Indiana copyright lawsuit, Bell contends that PROACT Search used his copyrighted image without permission when it used Bell's photo in promotional material that announced that "Indianapolis Public Schools hires PROACT Search to find a new Deputy Superintendent." Bell claims that Defendant "willfully and recklessly falsely claimed that it owned the copyrights of all images and photos contained in the advertising piece," including Bell's photo of Indianapolis.

Bell asserts that PROACT Search has thus profited from the use of the copyrighted photo. This use is alleged to have been committed willfully and deliberately and with oppression, fraud, and malice.

In this federal complaint, which Plaintiff Bell filed on his own behalf, Bell asserts claims of copyright infringement and unfair competition. He asks for an accounting of all gains, profits and advantages derived by Defendant as a result of the alleged infringement and for statutory and/or actual damages. He also seeks reimbursement of costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.

Practice Tip: Richard Bell has been a prolific copyright plaintiff in the Indiana federal courts.  Some previous blog posts regarding his litigation include:

Continue reading "Indiana Copyright Litigation: Bell Files New Copyright Infringement Lawsuit" »

June 25, 2015

USPTO Seeks Nominations for Patent and Trademark Advisory Committees

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") is seeking nominations to fill upcoming vacancies for the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) and the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC). Nominations must be postmarked or electronically transmitted on or before July 25, 2015. Submission details can be found in the Federal Register Notice.

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The Public Advisory Committees for the USPTO were created through the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act statute in the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 to advise the Secretary of Commerce and the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO on the management of patent and trademark operations. The Public Advisory Committees review the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the patent and trademark operations, respectively, and advise the director on these matters. Each committee has nine voting members who are appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Secretary of Commerce. Each member serves a three-year term.

For more information you may contact, Andrew C. Byrnes, Chief of Staff, Office of the Under Secretary and Director, USPTO, by facsimile transmission marked to his attention at (571) 273-0464.

June 24, 2015

Indiana Copyright Litigation: Bell Sues Georgia-Based FindTicketsFast.com for Copyright Infringement

Indianapolis, Indiana - Indiana attorney Richard N. Bell of McCordsville, Indiana filed an

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 intellectual property lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Find Tickets, LLC of Alpharetta, Georgia infringed the copyright of a photo of the Indianapolis skyline taken by Bell.

In 2000, Plaintiff Bell photographed the downtown Indianapolis skyline. Bell indicates in this complaint that the photo has been registered by the U.S. Copyright Office as Registration Number VA0001785115.

Find Tickets, LLC, which does business at the website www.findticketsfast.com, has been accused of infringing the copyright of this photo. In this single-defendant complaint, Bell contends that Find Tickets used his copyrighted image without permission and that, moreover, "each Defendant willfully and recklessly falsely claimed that it owned the copyrights of all images and photos contained in the Defendant's website," including Bell's photo of Indianapolis. Consequently, alleges Bell, "Defendants have [sic] realized and continue to realize profits and other benefits rightfully belonging to Plaintiff." Defendant Find Tickets is accused of "willfully and deliberately" engaging in copyright infringement "with oppression, fraud, and malice."

In this federal complaint, copyright lawyer Bell makes claims of copyright infringement and unfair competition. Plaintiff asserts that he has suffered irreparable injury as a result of the alleged infringement of his copyrighted photo. Bell asks the court to declare that Find Tickets' use of the photo violates Bell's rights under the Copyright Act and to enjoin further infringing uses of his photo. He asks for an accounting of all gains, profits and advantages derived by Defendant as a result of the alleged infringement and for statutory and/or actual damages for each violation. Plaintiff also seeks reimbursement of costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.

Continue reading "Indiana Copyright Litigation: Bell Sues Georgia-Based FindTicketsFast.com for Copyright Infringement" »

June 23, 2015

Indiana Trademark Litigation: Weekends Only, Inc. Sues Weekends Only Clearance Outlet

Fort Wayne, Indiana - An Indiana trademark lawyer for Weekends Only, Inc. of St. Louis, Missouri filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that AK Distribution LLC and KASH Subsidiaries, Inc. of Fort Wayne, Indiana, one or both of which does business as "Weekends Only Furniture & Mattress Clearance Outlet," infringed the trademarks WEEKENDS ONLY and WEEKENDS ONLY FURNITURE OUTLET, U.S. Registration Numbers 2,669,149; 2,697,959; 2,834,336; and 2,891,146, which have been registered by the U.S. Trademark Office.

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Plaintiff Weekends Only, Inc. operates business establishments in Indiana and Missouri. It contends that it owns and has used various trademarks, currently registered by the U.S. Trademark Office, that include the words "Weekends Only" since approximately 1997. These trademarks have been registered in Class 35 for "Retail store services featuring furniture."

In this federal lawsuit, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants AK Distribution LLC and KASH Subsidiaries, Inc. have used and continue to use confusingly similar versions of the WEEKENDS ONLY and WEEKENDS ONLY FURNITURE OUTLET trademarks. In so doing, states Plaintiff, Defendants have committed trademark infringement under federal and state law, unfair competition under the state law of Indiana, false designation of origin, injury to business reputation and/or trademarks, common law unfair competition.

In the complaint, filed by an Indiana trademark attorney for Plaintiff, the following claims are alleged:

• Count I: Infringement of Federally-Registered Trademark
• Count II: Infringement of Common Law Rights in Trademarks
• Count III: Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices in Violation of Indiana Code § 24-5-0.5-1 et seq.
• Count IV: False Designation of Origin Under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)
• Count V: Common Law Unfair Competition
• Count VI: Motion for Permanent Injunctive Relief

Plaintiff asks the court for injunctive relief and damages.

Continue reading "Indiana Trademark Litigation: Weekends Only, Inc. Sues Weekends Only Clearance Outlet" »

June 19, 2015

Indiana Trademark Litigation: ArcelorMittal Sues Arillotta et al. for Tarnishment, Deception and Forgery

Hammond, Indiana - Trademark attorneys for ArcelorMittal USA LLC of Chicago, Illinois sued alleging violations of intellectual property rights and other rights. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Indiana, alleges that Albert Arillotta, Global Demolition and Recycling, LLC, NMC Metals Corporation, and Arillotta Enterprises, LLC, all of Swampscott, Massachusetts, engaged in false designation of origin and false endorsement; dilution by blurring and tarnishment; deception; forgery; and deceptive trade practices.

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ArcelorMittal is a producer and supplier of steel products. It owns and operates a steelmaking facility in Burns Harbor, Indiana. ArcelorMittal claims rights in federal trademark registrations to "ArcelorMittal" (Reg. Nos. 3908649 and 3643643) and "Mittal" (Reg. No. 4686413).

In 2012, Plaintiff ArcelorMittal solicited proposals for the installation of a pig iron casting machine at its Burns Harbor steelmaking facility. Plaintiff indicates that Arillotta, through his company Arillotta Enterprises, Inc., submitted a proposal for the project but that it was rejected. Nonetheless, contends ArcelorMittal, Arillotta subsequently represented to various third parties that "Arcelor Mittal Burns Harbor" and Defendant(s) had, in fact, entered into a contract for such an installation. Plaintiff further claims in its federal lawsuit that Arillotta forged the signature of two individuals, Michael Rippey and Louis Schorsch, listed as officers of ArcelorMittal, on documents related to this false claim.

Plaintiff also indicates in this lawsuit that Arillotta, when later unable to make payments owing on another contract, falsely claimed that ArcelorMittal would wire transfer $338,200.00 to cover an initial payment. When no such payment was forthcoming, because Plaintiff indicates that no such agreement existed, the payee on that contract then began to demand the money directly from ArcelorMittal.

ArcelorMittal contends that, in sum, "Arillotta has forged contracts and purchase orders purporting to represent in excess of ten million dollars ($10,000,00.00) worth of commercial activities between the defendant companies and ArcelorMittal when, in fact, ArcelorMittal has not hired Arillotta or his companies to perform any of the work shown in the forged contracts and purchase orders."

In its complaint against Arillotta and the other Defendants, trademark lawyers for ArcelorMittal list the following counts:

• Count I: False Designation of Origin and False Endorsement
• Count II: Dilution by Blurring and Tarnishment
• Count III: Deception
• Count IV: Forgery
• Count V: Deceptive Trade Practices

Plaintiff ArcelorMittal asks the court for injunctive relief, money damages, costs and attorneys' fees.

Continue reading "Indiana Trademark Litigation: ArcelorMittal Sues Arillotta et al. for Tarnishment, Deception and Forgery" »

June 18, 2015

Indiana Trademark Litigation: Imprimis Sues Hook's Apothecary for Trademark Infringement

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Indianapolis, Indiana - Trademark lawyers for Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of California filed an intellectual property lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Hook's Apothecary, Inc. of Indiana, as well as unidentified Doe Defendants 1 through 20, infringed the following Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. trademarks: GO DROPLESS! (U.S. Serial No. 96143543), GO DROPLESS! - Logo (U.S. Serial No. 86143553), LESSDROPS (U.S. Serial No. 86497791), DROPLESS CATARACT THERAPY (U.S. Serial No. 86497090 ), and DROPLESS THERAPY (U.S. Serial No. 86497100), which have been registered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Imprimis offers slow-releasing ophthalmic compositions containing triamcinolone acetate, moxifloxacin hydrochloride, triamcinolone acetate, and vancomycin. It offers these products for use in the treatment of acute infections of the eye and for use via intraocular injection. These products are sold under the trademarks at issue in this Indiana lawsuit. The products are also claimed to be the subject of patent applications numbers 14/361,242 and 14/227,819, which have been filed with the USPTO.

Hook's has been accused of infringing all, or some subset, of these intellectual property rights. Imprimis claims that Hook's has been manufacturing, marketing, and selling "copycat" "Dropless" formulations, the administration of which has been reported to have caused a high incidence of endophthalmitis and other related problems in patients recovering from cataract surgery. This, Imprimis contends, has created confusion, harmed the reputation of Imprimis' inventions, and caused some physicians to cease ordering from Imprimis.

In this complaint, filed by trademark attorneys for Imprimis in Indiana federal court, the following counts are alleged:

• Infringement of Trademarks (Against All Defendants)
• Common Law Unfair Competition (Against All Defendants)
• Common Law Trademark and Trade Name Infringement (Against All Defendants)
• For Declaratory Relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2201 (Against All Defendants)
• For Injunctive Relief (Against All Defendants)

Imprimis asks for general and special damages, as well as a trebling of those amounts "because of the willful nature of said infringements"; for a judgment that Hook's has violated §§ 1114 and 1125(a) of the Lanham Act; for a judgment that Hook's has engaged in unfair competition under the common law; for injunctive relief; and for an award of the costs of litigation, including attorneys' fees.


Continue reading "Indiana Trademark Litigation: Imprimis Sues Hook's Apothecary for Trademark Infringement" »

June 17, 2015

Indiana Copyright Litigation: Richard Bell Files Two New Copyright Infringement Lawsuits

Indianapolis, Indiana - Indiana attorney Richard Bell of McCordsville, Indiana filed two new lawsuits alleging copyright infringement in the Southern District of Indiana. The Defendants in the first lawsuit are WRTV of Indianapolis, Indiana, and DISH Network Corporation of Englewood, Colorado. The Defendant in the second copyright complaint is Larry Turner of Indianapolis, Indiana.

In two similar intellectual property complaints, Bell, an Indiana copyright lawyer and professional photographer, alleged infringement of a copyrighted photo of Indianapolis. This photo, Registration Number VA0001785115, has been registered by the U.S. Copyright Office. Bell claims that he owns the intellectual property rights to the photo.

In two separate lawsuits, filed in an Indiana federal court, Bell asserts that the Defendants used his copyrighted photo without having purchased a license. Each complaint lists one count, "Copyright Infringement and Unfair Competition." Bell asks for injunctive relief; actual and/or statutory damages; and reimbursement of litigation costs, including attorneys' fees.

Continue reading "Indiana Copyright Litigation: Richard Bell Files Two New Copyright Infringement Lawsuits" »

June 16, 2015

Indiana Copyright Law: Court Prevents Copyright Plaintiff Bell from Outmaneuvering Legal System; Orders Bell to Pay Almost $34,000 in Fees and Costs

Indianapolis, Indiana - Plaintiff and Indiana copyright attorney Richard Bell of McCordsville, Indiana was ordered by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt of the Southern District of Indiana to pay almost $34,000 in attorney's fees and costs to Defendant Charles Lantz, whom Bell had sued on unsupported allegations of copyright infringement.

Indiana copyright attorney Richard Bell, who is also a professional photographer, has sued hundreds for copyright infringement. The lawsuits began in 2011. At issue in Bell's spate of litigation were allegations of unauthorized use of his copyrighted photograph of the Indianapolis skyline, which had been registered at the U.S. Copyright Office. The ongoing saga of this multiplicity of copyright lawsuits took an interesting, if unsurprising, turn last week.

According to an article in The Indiana Lawyer, Bell has said that most Defendants whom he has sued have settled early. Acknowledging the expense of litigation - and the relative ease of escaping litigation by simply paying a settlement without any finding of liability - Bell said, "A responsible lawyer and their clients, they obviously know it's going to be far more expensive to try it."

A current copyright-infringement lawsuit, filed January 8, 2013 by Bell, named forty-seven Defendants. Forty-six of those Defendants were dismissed from the lawsuit, including some who settled and some against whom a default judgment was issued. Default judgments of $2,500 were awarded in this litigation.

One Defendant, Charles Lantz, refused to pay for copyright infringement that he had not committed and hired Indiana intellectual property attorney Paul Overhauser (publisher of this blog) to defend him. In December 2014, Lantz's perseverance paid off and the court granted an unopposed motion for voluntary dismissal of the litigation against Lantz. Last week, Lantz's perseverance paid off again when Overhauser, on behalf of Lantz, sought and was awarded $33,974.65 in attorney's fees and costs from Plaintiff Bell.

The court explained that, because Bell's copyright litigation against Lantz had been dismissed with prejudice, Lantz became the "prevailing party" under the Copyright Act. Under 17 U.S.C. § 505, in any civil copyright action, the district court may award litigation costs, including attorney's fees, to the prevailing party.

In evaluating whether to exercise its discretion to award such costs to Lantz, the court stated, "Defendants who defeat a copyright infringement action are entitled to a strong presumption in favor of a grant of fees." The court looked to the Fogerty factors, which are so named after Fogerty v. Fantasy, Inc., 510 U.S. 517 (1994), a U.S. Supreme Court case involving the shifting of costs in copyright litigation. These factors are nonexclusive and include: "(1) the frivolousness of the action; (2) the losing party's motivation for filing or contesting the action; (3) the objective unreasonableness of the action; and (4) the need to advance considerations of compensation and deterrence."

The court found that each of these factors weighed against Bell. It stated that Bell had possessed no evidence against Lantz that would prove either a conversion or a copyright claim. It also characterized Bell's motivation for filing the lawsuit as "questionable," noting that Bell had attempted to save himself "extensive filing fees" by improperly joining defendants and had "sued forty-seven defendants and then quickly offered settlements to defendants who were unwilling to pay for a legal defense."

Regarding the third and fourth factors, the court held that the litigation was objectively unreasonable, given that Lantz had been sued "without any evidence to support the claims." The court then turned to the last of the Fogerty factors, the need to advance considerations of compensation and deterrence. It noted that Bell had leveraged his status as a practicing attorney "to file meritless suits and to attempt to outmaneuver the legal system" (which was perhaps a hat tip to the now-famous opinion written by Judge Otis D. Wright III, who employed similar language against another copyright plaintiff widely regarded as a copyright troll).

Finally, the court was not swayed by Bell's assertions that Lantz had failed to inform Bell that the wrong defendant had been sued and that Lantz had incurred unnecessary attorney's fees. In response to these claims, the court noted that Lantz had "denied liability at his first opportunity." The court also opined that, while defense counsel is not required to take the most economical defense strategy in defending a copyright lawsuit, it appeared that the "most economical approach feasible" may have been taken.

With all Fogerty factors weighing against Bell and no viable opposition permitting either an escape from fees and costs or a lessening of the amount, the court awarded to Defendant Lantz $33,974.65, the full amount requested.

Practice Tip: The Indiana Lawyer wrote an interesting piece regarding Judge Pratt's order. That article may be viewed here.

Continue reading "Indiana Copyright Law: Court Prevents Copyright Plaintiff Bell from Outmaneuvering Legal System; Orders Bell to Pay Almost $34,000 in Fees and Costs" »

June 12, 2015

USPTO to Host Additive Manufacturing Partnership Meeting

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Commerce Department's United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") will host an Additive Manufacturing Partnership Meeting on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 on the Alexandria campus. Additive manufacturing, sometimes called "3D printing," refers to a group of new technologies that create objects from 3D computer models, usually by joining thin materials, layer upon layer. The meeting will serve as a forum for sharing ideas, experiences, and insights between individual users and representatives from the USPTO.

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Additive manufacturing is used in the fields of jewelry, footwear, architecture, engineering and construction, automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries, education, geographic information systems, civil engineering, and many others.

What: Additive Manufacturing Partnership Meeting

When: July 8, 2015 from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. ET

Who: Speakers will include:

Peer Munck, CEO and Founder of 3Discovered
Marcus Worsley, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Blake Johnson, Princeton University
Dwight Dart, University of Virginia

Where:

USPTO Campus, Madison North Auditorium
600 Dulany Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Space is limited and registration will be done on a first-come first-served basis. The USPTO asks that you RSVP by e-mail to 3Dprinting@uspto.gov or by telephone to Jill Warden at (571) 272-1267 or Veronica Ewald at (571) 272-8519 to confirm your attendance.

June 11, 2015

Indiana Trademark Litigation: Eco Elettrocomponenti Alleges Sale of Counterfeit Lights by National Supply

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South Bend, Indiana - An Indiana trademark lawyer for Eco Elettrocomponenti SRL of Reggio Emilia, Italy ("Eco") filed a trademark-infringement lawsuit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that National Supply of Green Bay, Wisconsin sold counterfeit Eco products.

Plaintiff Eco is a manufacturer and supplier of components for lighting attractions. Among its products are cabochon lenses commonly referred to as "Star Lights." Eco claims that its Star Light cabochon lenses have a distinct physical appearance and configuration. Eco indicates that it owns a trademark, Registration Number 4,401,967, for this distinct configuration.

Defendant National Supply sells specialty lighting and electrical products, including cabochon lenses. National Supply has been accused of having purchased counterfeit Star Lights for resale to consumers. In January 2015, a U.S.-based distributor of Eco's Star Light contacted National Supply to discuss National Supply's Internet sales of lenses advertised as Star Light lenses. Eco indicates that, in response to this discussion, National Supply voluntarily agreed not to sell Star Lights.

Eco contends that the sale of such lights by National Supply is nonetheless ongoing, stating that "National Supply offers for sale counterfeit ECO products." Eco, via its Indiana trademark attorney, has sued National Supply, asserting that National Supply intentionally, knowingly, and willfully purchased and redistributed counterfeit Eco products. This trademark lawsuit asks the Indiana court for actual and/or statutory damages; a finding that this is an exceptional case meriting an award of costs, including attorneys' fees and enhanced damages; and for injunctive relief.

Continue reading "Indiana Trademark Litigation: Eco Elettrocomponenti Alleges Sale of Counterfeit Lights by National Supply" »

June 10, 2015

Indiana Intellectual Property Litigation: DISH Network Accuses Indiana Resident of Piracy

New Albany, Indiana - Intellectual property attorneys for DISH Network L.L.C., EchoStar Technologies L.L.C., and NagraStar L.L.C., all of Englewood, Colorado (collectively, "DISH Network"), filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Danny Abner of Paris Crossing, Indiana illegally intercepted, decrypted and viewed DISH Network satellite programming.

Defendant Abner has been accused by DISH Network of "circumventing DISH Network's security system and receiving DISH Network's satellite broadcasts of copyrighted television programming without payment of the required subscription fee." This intellectual property lawsuit, brought in the Southern District of Indiana, claims Abner violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 1201 et seq., the Federal Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. § 605 et seq., and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2511 et seq.

According to DISH Network, Abner's piracy occurred via the use of Nfusion Private Server ("NFPS"), a television-pirating service. Francis Philip, a/k/a Vgiddy, sold subscriptions to the NFPS service. Philip provided DISH Network with copies of his business records pertaining to Abner, which showed that Abner had purchased one or more subscriptions to the piracy service in 2012.

Through the NFPS piracy service, Abner allegedly obtained DISH Network's digital "keys," which he used to decrypt and view DISH Network programming. The type of piracy of which Abner is accused, Internet key sharing, is still possible despite DISH Network's latest generation of security technology.

In the complaint, filed by intellectual property lawyers for DISH Network, the following counts are alleged:

• 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

DISH Network seeks injunctive relief, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and reimbursement for DISH Network's costs, attorneys' fees, and investigative expenses.

Continue reading "Indiana Intellectual Property Litigation: DISH Network Accuses Indiana Resident of Piracy " »

June 9, 2015

Indiana Patent Litigation: Donaldson Co. Sues Action Filtration Alleging Patent Infringement

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Indianapolis, Indiana - Indiana patent attorneys for Donaldson Company, Inc. of Bloomington, Minnesota, ("Donaldson") commenced an intellectual property lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Action Filtration, Inc. of Hope, Indiana infringed Patent No. 6,488,746, "Air Filter Assembly Having Non-Cylindrical Filter Elements for Filtering Air With Particulate Matter"; Patent No. D499,177, "Filter Element Having Oval Shape"; and Patent No. 7,264,656, "Air Filter Assembly Having Non-Cylindrical Filter Elements for Filtering Air With Particulate Matter," which have been issued by the U.S. Patent Office.

Plaintiff Donaldson, established in 1915, is a worldwide provider of filtration systems and replacement parts. Defendant Action Filtration designs and manufactures replacement filters for dust collection and liquid filtration.

At issue in this Indiana patent lawsuit are three patents, to which Donaldson claims ownership: United States Patent No. 6,488,746 ("the '746 patent"), United States Design Patent No. D499,177 ("the '177 patent") and United States Patent No. 7,264,656 ("the '656 patent").

In this Indiana complaint, filed by patent lawyers for Donaldson, the following is alleged:

• Count I: Infringement of the '746 Patent
• Count II: Infringement of the '177 Patent

• Count III: Infringement of the '656 Patent

Donaldson asks the court for injunctive relief; compensatory damages; an award of Action Filtration's total profits derived from infringement of the '177 Patent; and a declaration that the case is exceptional, to include an award to Donaldson of its attorneys' fees, expenses, and costs associated with this patent lawsuit pursuant to such a declaration.

Continue reading "Indiana Patent Litigation: Donaldson Co. Sues Action Filtration Alleging Patent Infringement" »