February 23, 2015

Trademark Law: Supreme Court Resolves Circuit Split - Trademark Tacking is a Jury Issue


Washington, D.C. - The United States Supreme Court held that in those cases in which summary disposition by the court is inappropriate, and where a jury has been empaneled, trademark tacking for purpose of determining priority is a question of fact for the jury to decide.

Hana Financial, Inc. and Hana Bank both provide financial services to individuals in the United States. Hana Bank was established in 1971 under the name Korea Investment Financial Corporation. It adopted the name "Hana Bank" for use in Korea in 1991. It began advertising in the United States as "Hana Overseas Korean Club" in 1994. This name was changed to "Hana World Center" in 2000. In 2002, it began banking under the name "Hana Bank" in the United States.

Hana Financial began using its name in 1995 in the United States. In 2007, it sued Hana Bank for trademark infringement. Hana Bank defended against this claim by invoking the tacking doctrine, under which a trademark user may make limited modifications to its trademark while retaining the priority provided by the initial trademark. The jury held for Hana Bank. On appeal, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed, concluding that tacking was a "highly fact-sensitive inquiry" that was properly the province of the jury.

Hana Financial appealed the issue of trademark tacking to the U.S. Supreme Court. In its opinion, the Court noted that lower courts have held that two marks may be tacked when they are considered to be "legal equivalents," i.e., they "create the same, continuing commercial impression." That "commercial impression," in turn, "must be viewed through the eyes of a consumer." Such an evaluation - designed to capture the impression which a trademark makes upon an ordinary consumer - "falls comfortably within the ken of a jury."

The Court unanimously affirmed the Ninth Circuit, holding that "when a jury is to be empaneled and when the facts warrant neither summary judgment nor judgment as a matter of law, tacking is a question for the jury."

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February 20, 2015

United States Deposits Instrument of Ratification to Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs


Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") recently announced that the United States has deposited its instrument of ratification to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs ("Hague Agreement") with the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") in Geneva, Switzerland. This marks the last step in the membership process for the United States to become a Member of the Hague Union. The treaty will go into effect for the United States on May 13, 2015.

Currently, U.S. applicants wishing to pursue protection for industrial designs in multiple jurisdictions must file individual applications in each of the respective jurisdictions where industrial design rights are desired. When the Hague Agreement enters into force for the United States, it will be possible for U.S. applicants to file a single international design application either with WIPO in Geneva, Switzerland, or the USPTO to obtain protection in multiple economies. The Hague system for the protection of industrial designs provides a practical solution for registering up to 100 designs in over 62 territories with the filing of one single international application.

"U.S. accession to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement will provide applicants with the opportunity for improved efficiencies and cost savings in protecting their innovative designs in the global economy," said Deputy Under Secretary for Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee. "We are extremely excited about joining the Hague Union and contributing to the continued expansion and development of the Hague system which facilitates protection of industrial designs in design registration and examination systems alike."

The Hague system offers applicants increased filing efficiencies and potential cost savings in pursuing protection for their innovative industrial designs. As envisioned under the Geneva Act, the United States will continue to substantively examine design applications and to grant design rights in the form of U.S. design patents, whether the application is filed pursuant to the Hague Agreement or as a United States design patent application.

USPTO will soon publish the Final Rules governing USPTO processing and examination of international design applications filed pursuant to the Hague Agreement in the Federal Register. The Agreement, Title I of the Patent Law Treaties Implement Act of 2012 (the implementing legislation for the Hague Agreement in the United States), and the USPTO's Final Rules are all expected to go into effect on May 13, 2015. U.S. design patents resulting from applications filed on or after May 13, 2015 will have a 15-year term.

The Hague system is expected to experience significant growth over the next few years with recent and expected additions of several countries to the member list. In addition to United States membership taking effect on May 13, 2015, South Korea became a member effective July 1, 2014, and Japan is expected to become a member in the same time period as the United States. Canada, China, and Russia are also among the countries exploring membership in the near future.

February 19, 2015

Indiana Trademark Law: Court Strikes Response Brief Due to Untimely, Overlong Filing


Indianapolis, Indiana - Judge Tanya Walton Pratt (pictured) of the Southern District of Indiana struck a response brief in the matter of Wine & Canvas Development, LLC. v. Theodore Weisser, Christopher Muylle, YN Canvas CA, LLC and Art Uncorked, noting that the brief was both late and longer than permitted.

In 2011, Wine & Canvas Development, LLC ("Wine & Canvas") sued Muylle and others alleging the wrongful use of Wine and Canvas trademarks as well as the breach of non-competition agreements. Muylle counterclaimed against Wine and Canvas asserting abuse of process. In November 2014, after a four-day trial, the jury found for Muylle on all claims and awarded him $270,000.

After the conclusion of the trial, the Indiana trademark lawyer for Muylle petitioned the court for attorneys' fees under § 1117(a) of the Lanham act, which provides that the court may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party in "exceptional cases." Muylle, via his trademark attorney, contended that this case was properly deemed exceptional as a result of the jury's finding of abuse of process by Wine & Canvas. Muylle also noted that "the Court previously determined that 'Wine & Canvas, Mr. Scott, [Ms. McCracken], and Mr. McCracken have flooded the Court with filings which has increased the work expended on the case and Wine & Canvas has filed numerous claims that the Court has found to be without merit.' ... And the Court has already sanctioned the Plaintiff not once but three times for failing to comply with discovery or court rules." Muylle asked for $175,882.68 in attorneys' fees.

Wine & Canvas asked for an extension of time to respond to this request, to January 15, 2015, which the court granted. Wine & Canvas subsequently requested an additional extension of time to file its response, specifically asking for a new deadline of January 19, 2015. The court granted this request, also.

Wine & Canvas filed its response brief on January 20, 2015. Muylle's trademark attorney asked the court to strike that brief. The court noted that "[Wine & Canvas'] counsel's repeated disregard for and supposed ignorance of the rules is no excuse, and an apology does not allow counsel to continue to disregard the rules and court orders" and admonished the trademark lawyer for Wine & Canvas for failing to meet his filing deadlines.

The court also noted that, in addition to the untimeliness of the filing, the 40-page brief was also overlong in violation of Local Rule 7-1(e)(1), which limits the length of response briefs to 35 pages.

Consequently, the court granted the motion to strike Wine & Canvas' response brief. The court, however, also granted Wine & Canvas leave to file a belated response to Muylle's petition for attorneys' fees.

Continue reading "Indiana Trademark Law: Court Strikes Response Brief Due to Untimely, Overlong Filing" »

February 18, 2015

Indiana Trademark Litigation: Agdia Sues AC Diagnostics Alleging Deceptive Meta-tags and Other Trademark Harm


South Bend, Indiana - Indiana trademark attorneys for Agdia Inc. of Elkhart, Indiana sued in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Jun Q. Xia and AC Diagnostics, Inc. of Fayetteville, Arkansas infringed the trademark AGDIA®, which has been registered as United States Trademark Registration No. 1747994.

For over 30 years, Plaintiff Agdia has been in the business of supplying testing, test kits, and associated products and services related to the presence of pathogens or quality factors in agricultural products. Agdia has sued a former employee, Jun Q. Xia, alleging violations of federal and Indiana intellectual property law. AC Diagnostics, a competing enterprise formed by Xia, has also been named as a defendant in this lawsuit.

Agdia contends that Defendants have been unlawfully using its trademarked name. Among the claims is that Xia has hidden the Agdia trademark followed by the phrase "plant diagnostics," in the meta tags of nearly every product page associated with the AC Diagnostics website. Agdia asserts that, as an example, the "Company Profiles" section of the AC Diagnostics website, available at http://www.acdiainc.com/Comprofil.htm, appears upon first glance to provide nothing more than company information. However, if the page is printed, Agdia states that it reveals more text at the bottom of the document, hidden as white text on a white background.

Agdia also asserts that, through the AC Diagnostics website, Xia is deceptively and unfairly trading on Agdia's name by hiding that name, followed by the phrase "plant diagnostics," in the meta tags of nearly every product page associated with that site. Agdia contends that no fewer than 200 separate URLs from the Defendants' website use the Agdia name deceptively.

Agdia finally cites the name of AC Diagnostic's webpage as deceptive, claiming that "acdiainc," which is used within www.acdiainc.com, AC Diagnostic's website, is just one letter off from Agdia's legal name, "Agdia Inc." Defendants are accused of using this web address with the bad faith intent to profit from the Agdia trademark.

In a five-count complaint, filed by Indiana trademark lawyers for Agdia, Defendants are accused of willful, intentional, and unauthorized use of the Agdia trademark that is unlawful under federal law as well as Indiana state law.

Plaintiff Agdia asks the court to enjoin Defendants from using the Agdia mark; to cancel the domain www.acdiainc.com or transfer it to Agdia; for damages, including treble damages; and for attorneys' fees and costs.

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February 16, 2015

Third Member of International Computer Hacking Ring Pleads Guilty to Hacking and Conspiracy to Steal Intellectual Property; Charges Against Indiana Defendant Pending

picture02162015.pngDelaware - A third member of an international computer hacking ring has pleaded guilty to conspiring to break into computer networks of prominent technology companies to steal more than $100 million in intellectual property and other proprietary data.

Nathan Leroux, 20, of Bowie, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit computer intrusions and criminal copyright infringement based on his role in the cyber theft of software and data related to the Xbox One gaming console and Xbox Live online gaming system, and popular games such as the "FIFA" online soccer series; "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3;" and "Gears of War 3." Leroux has been in custody since attempting to flee into Canada from Buffalo, New York, on June 16, 2014. A sentencing hearing is set before U.S. District Judge Gregory M. Sleet of the District of Delaware on May 14, 2015.

Sanadodeh Nesheiwat, 28, of Washington, New Jersey, and David Pokora, 22, of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, previously pleaded guilty to the same conspiracy charge on Sept. 30, 2014. They remain in custody pending their sentencing hearings, which are scheduled for April 2015. Pokora's guilty plea is believed to have been the first conviction of a foreign-based individual for hacking into U.S. businesses to steal trade secret information. Charges against a fourth defendant, Austin Alcala, 19, of McCordsville, Indiana, remain pending.

According to Leroux's admissions in connection with his guilty plea, he was part of the hacking conspiracy between January 2011 and September 2012. During that period, hacking group members located in the United States and abroad gained unauthorized access to computer networks of various companies, including Microsoft CorporationEpic Games Inc., Valve Corporation and Zombie Studios. The conspirators accessed and stole unreleased software, software source code, trade secrets, copyrighted and pre-release works, and other confidential and proprietary information. Members of the conspiracy also allegedly stole financial and other sensitive information relating to the companies - but not their customers - and certain employees of such companies.

Specifically, the data theft targeted software development networks containing source code, technical specifications and related information for Microsoft's then-unreleased Xbox One gaming console, as well as intellectual property and proprietary data related to Xbox Live and games developed for that online gaming system.

Leroux admitted in court that he and others used the stolen intellectual property to build, and attempt to sell, counterfeit versions of the Xbox One console before its public release in November 2013. In July 2013, the FBI intercepted a counterfeit console built by Leroux, which was destined for the Republic of Seychelles.

Leroux also admitted that he developed a software exploit that allowed him and others to generate millions of "coins" for the FIFA soccer games playable on the Xbox Live platform. These coins are the virtual, in-game currency used to build a "FIFA Ultimate Team" in the games. Without the authorization of Electronic Arts, the intellectual property rights holder to the FIFA games, Leroux and others sold bulk quantities of the "FIFA coins" via online black markets.

The value of the intellectual property and other data stolen by the hacking ring, as well as the costs associated with the victims' responses to the conduct, is estimated to range between $100 million and $200 million. To date, the United States has seized over $620,000 in cash and other proceeds related to the charged conduct.

This case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Criminal Division's Office of International Affairs, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Patrol, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The investigation also has been coordinated with the Western Australia Police and the Peel Regional Police of Ontario, Canada.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney James Silver of the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward J. McAndrew of the District of Delaware.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Charles M. Oberly III of the District of Delaware and Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the FBI's Baltimore Field Office made the announcement.

Continue reading "Third Member of International Computer Hacking Ring Pleads Guilty to Hacking and Conspiracy to Steal Intellectual Property; Charges Against Indiana Defendant Pending" »

February 13, 2015

Indiana Trademark Law: Consent Judgment Entered Enjoining Chanel's Salon from Using "Chanel" in Business Name


Hammond, Indiana - Chanel's Salon, LLC, d/b/a Chanel's Salon and Chanel's Cosmetology Salon, and Chanel Jones, all of Merrillville, Indiana, entered into a consent judgment with Chanel, Inc. of New York, New York to resolve ongoing trademark disputes regarding the trademarked term CHANEL®.

Indiana trademark attorneys for fashion-and-beauty giant Chanel, Inc. had sued in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Chanel's Salon, LLC and Chanel Jones had infringed and were infringing the trademark CHANEL, Registration Nos. 302,690; 510,992; 1,263,845; 1,348,842; 1,464,711; 1,559,404; 1,660,866; 3,134,695; and 4,105,557, which have been registered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

In this Indiana lawsuit, Chanel, Inc. alleged trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition under federal law as well as trademark infringement and unfair competition under Indiana state law. Chanel, Inc. claimed that its intellectual property rights to its trademark CHANEL had been infringed and diluted by actions of Defendants Chanel's Salon, an Indiana beauty salon, and its owner Chanel Jones.

Specifically, Defendants were accused of using the trade names CHANEL'S SALON and/or CHANEL'S COSMETOLOGY SALON in connection with their beauty salon without Chanel's authorization. Chanel, Inc. also claimed that the Defendants were infringing and diluting the CHANEL trademark by, inter alia, offering goods and services that are related to those offered under the CHANEL mark, including cosmetics, beauty consultation services and hair accessories.

This litigation ended pursuant to a consent judgment crafted by the parties and entered by the Indiana district court. As part of the consent judgment, the court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting Jones from using CHANEL to identify her beauty salon or any other enterprises, services or products. Jones was also enjoined from any use of the term CHANEL as part of any keyword, meta tag, page tag, or source code in any business marketing.

The order in this intellectual property litigation was issued by Judge Theresa L. Springmann in the Northern District of Indiana. This case is: Chanel, Inc. v. Chanel's Salon LLC et al., Case No. 2:14-cv-00304-TLS-PRC.

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February 12, 2015

USPTO to Host First-Ever Summit on Patent Quality


Alexandria, Virginia - A two-day event to be held by the U.S. Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") will include patent-quality discussions among USPTO leadership as well as experts from industry, academia, and the public.

The USPTO will host this public meeting on Wednesday, March 25 and Thursday, March 26, 2015 at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The Quality Summit will encourage robust discussions among USPTO leadership; patent prosecutors, litigators, applicants and licensees; and other members of the public interested in USPTO's efforts to further improve patent quality through its Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative.

The USPTO is seeking public input and guidance to direct its continued efforts towards enhancing patent quality. These efforts focus on improving patent operations and procedures to provide the best possible work products, to enhance the customer experience, and to improve existing quality metrics. USPTO has already set in motion several quality initiatives, including robust technical and legal training for patent examiners, as well as a Glossary Pilot, Quick Patent IDS Program, First Action Interview Pilot, and After Final Consideration Pilot.  The two-day Quality Summit is one of many ways the USPTO is engaging with the public on this important effort.

"High quality patents permit certainty and clarity of rights, which in turn fuels innovation and reduces needless litigation," said Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee. "Our Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative will allow us to further improve patent quality through direct and ongoing engagement."

The Quality Summit will be broadcast via webinar and recorded for later viewing. The USPTO is also seeking public comment separate from the Quality Summit on its Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative; comments in this round will be accepted through May 6, 2015.

Additional information about the summit and instructions for submitting comments is available in the Federal Register Notice. The Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative is also the subject of a blog post by Deputy Under Secretary Lee.

February 11, 2015

Indiana Patent Litigation: Four Mile Bay Asserts Patent Infringement Claims Against Zimmer


Hammond, Indiana - Patent attorneys for Four Mile Bay LLC ("FMB") of Wadsworth, Ohio instituted intellectual property litigation in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Zimmer Holdings, Inc. ("Zimmer") of Warsaw, Indiana infringed its patented "Hip Implant With Porous Body," Patent Nos. 8,821,582 and 8,506,642, which have been registered by the U.S. Patent Office.

Zimmer is a manufacturer and marketer of reconstructive orthopedic implants, including hip implants. At issue in this Indiana patent lawsuit are United States Patent Nos. 8,821,582 (the "'582 patent") and 8,506,642 (the "'642 patent"). Zimmer is accused of having infringed and continuing to infringe the '582 and '642 patents by making, selling, and using hip implants, including a Trabecular Metal Primary Hip Prosthesis, that embody the patented invention.

Ownership of the '582 patent, issued for an invention in a method of machining, fabricating, and attaching components of a hip implant with a porous body, is claimed by FMB. FMB also asserts ownership of the '642 patent.

In this Indiana litigation, patent lawyers for FMB ask the court for the following:

      • Judgment that Zimmer has directly infringed claims of the '582 patent and the '642 patent;
      • For a reasonable royalty; and
      • For pre-judgment interest and post-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law.

The case was assigned to Chief Judge Philip P. Simon and Magistrate Judge Christopher A. Nuechterlein in the Northern District of Indiana and assigned Case No. 3:15-cv-00063-PPS-CAN.

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February 9, 2015

United States District Court of Southern Indiana Selects New Magistrate


Indianapolis, Indiana - The Honorable Richard L. Young, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, recently announced the selection of New Albany attorney Van T. Willis as part-time United States Magistrate Judge. Mr. Willis' appointment will be made upon completion of a Federal Bureau of Investigation background check, a process that can take a few months. Once appointed, he will fill the vacancy created by the passing of The Honorable Michael G. Naville, who served the court from November 1995 to September 2014.

As the Magistrate Judge in the New Albany Division of the Southern District of Indiana, Mr. Willis will preside over preliminary criminal proceedings in that division. He will also continue in the private practice of law as a senior partner with the firm of Kightlinger & Gray, LLP. He has been with the firm since 1991, and his primary areas of practice are civil rights, corporate and business law, employment, insurance defense litigation, trademark and copyright infringement, and worker's compensation. Prior to joining Kightlinger & Gray, from 1989 to 1991, Mr. Willis served as a law clerk to United States District Judge Gene E. Brooks.

Mr. Willis was born and raised in Franklin, Kentucky. He received a business administration degree from the University of Kentucky in 1983, then attended law school there, graduating in 1988. Mr. Willis was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1988 and is also admitted to practice before the Indiana Bar; the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Western District of Kentucky, and Eastern District of Kentucky; and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He is a member of the Indiana State Bar Association, Kentucky Bar Association, Floyd County Bar Association, Louisville Bar Association, DRI, and Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana.

Mr. Willis is also engaged in many civic activities, currently serving as president of the Governing Board of Floyd County Head Start; vice-president of the Board of Trustees of Our Lady of Providence High School; and as a member of the Board of Directors of Goodwill of Southern Indiana. Mr. Willis and his wife, Kathy, have been married for 26 years and have four children. Part-time Magistrate Judges are appointed by the Judges of the United States District Courts for terms of four years, and are eligible for reappointment to successive terms.

February 5, 2015

144 Trademark Registrations Issued to Indiana Companies in January 2015

The U.S. Trademark Office issued the following 144 trademark registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in January 2015 based on applications filed by Indiana trademark attorneys:

Reg. Number Word Mark Click to View
4678989 EVERCHILL Live
4678987 GREYSTONE Live
4678817 "NOW THAT'S GOOD STUFF!" Live
4678703 ACL Live
4678603 USI Live

Continue reading " 144 Trademark Registrations Issued to Indiana Companies in January 2015" »

February 4, 2015

Patent Office Issues 111 Patents To Indiana Citizens in January 2015

The U.S. Patent Office issued the following 111 patent registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in January 2015, based on applications filed by Indiana patent attorneys:
D721,793 Faucet spout
D721,792 Faucet body
D721,791 Faucet handle
D721,790 Faucet
D721,568 Latching mechanism for an animal enclosure
8942778 Analyte monitoring sensor system for monitoring a constituent in body tissue
8941917 Tensioned projection screen

Continue reading "Patent Office Issues 111 Patents To Indiana Citizens in January 2015" »

February 3, 2015

Federal Agencies Seize Over $19.5 Million in Fake NFL Merchandise During 'Operation Team Player'


Phoenix, Arizona - Federal officials teamed with the National Football League (NFL) Thursday to announce the results of a nationwide law enforcement effort aimed at combatting counterfeit sports merchandise.

Speaking at a NFL news conference, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sarah R. Saldaña, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Director of Field Operations William K. Brooks, and NFL Counsel Dolores F. DiBella discussed the results of the initiative, dubbed "Operation Team Player."

This year's operation began immediately following the conclusion of Super Bowl XLVIII and targeted international shipments of counterfeit merchandise as it entered the United States. Authorities identified warehouses, stores, flea markets, online vendors and street vendors selling counterfeit game-related sportswear and tickets throughout the country.

Fake jerseys, ball caps, t-shirts, jackets and other souvenirs are among the counterfeit merchandise and clothing confiscated by teams of special agents and officers from ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), CBP, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), and state and local police departments around the country - all in partnership with the NFL and other major sports leagues.

"Counterfeiting is not a game," said ICE Director Saldaña. "It is most certainly not a victimless crime either. Whether it's the child in Southeast Asia working in deplorable conditions, or local stores going out of business, intellectual property theft is a very real crime with very real victims. No good comes from counterfeiting American products regardless of whether they are all-star jerseys, airbags, or aspirin."

Special agents from HSI and officers with CBP worked with sports leagues and law enforcement agencies throughout the nation to identify illegal shipments imported into the U.S., as well as stores and vendors selling counterfeit trademarked items. The teams seized more than 326,147 items of phony sports memorabilia along with other counterfeit items worth more than $19.5 million. Law enforcement officers have made 52 arrests in relation to Operation Team Player so far, with Super Bowl XLIX efforts continuing through Feb. 6.

"The NFL is proud to once again partner with ICE and the IPR Center in combating the illegal sale of counterfeit merchandise and tickets," said DiBella. "Together, we are working hard to protect fans and prevent them from being scammed by criminals seeking to profit from the public's passion for the NFL, their home teams and Super Bowl XLIX."

"The sale of counterfeit products [is] connected to smuggling and other criminal activities and threatens the competitiveness of our businesses, the livelihoods of U.S. workers, and in some cases the health and safety of the consumer," said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. "CBP works closely with our federal government partners to protect the United States from these damaging and unsafe goods."

Understanding the economic impact of intellectual property theft, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is also spreading the word about the dangers that counterfeit products pose to the economy.

"Major events like the Super Bowl can highlight an economic problem we face throughout the year - counterfeit products put good, high-paying jobs at risk in places like Seattle, New England and Phoenix," said David Hirschmann, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber's Global Intellectual Property Center. "Innovative IP-intensive industries are responsible for over 1.4 million jobs in Massachusetts, 1.2 million in Washington, and 750,000 in Arizona. Sports fans need to be aware of criminals trying to take advantage of big events and holidays to sell counterfeit goods and compete with legitimate companies, like the ones that make the hats, jerseys, or other Super Bowl souvenirs from many of our most trusted brands."

The IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. Working in close coordination with the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 23 member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to intellectual property theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety and the U.S. economy.

To report IP theft or to learn more about the IPR Center, visit www.IPRCenter.gov.

February 2, 2015

Indiana Patent Litigation: Lilly in Court Again Asserting Infringement of Alimta


Indianapolis, Indiana - An Indiana patent attorney for Eli Lilly and Company ("Lilly") of Indianapolis, Indiana filed an intellectual property lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC ("Fresenius") of Lake Zurich, Illinois infringed the patented product ALIMTA®, Patent No. 7,772,209, which has been registered by the U.S. Patent Office.

Lilly is engaged in the business of research, development, manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical products worldwide. Fresenius is in the business of manufacturing, marketing, and selling generic drug products.

ALIMTA, which is licensed to Lilly, is a chemotherapy agent used for the treatment of various types of cancer. ALIMTA is composed of the pharmaceutical chemical pemetrexed disodium. It is indicated, in combination with cisplatin, (a) for the treatment of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, or (b) for the initial treatment of locally advanced or metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer. The drug is also indicated as a single agent for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer after prior chemotherapy. Additionally, ALIMTA is used for maintenance treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer whose disease has not progressed after four cycles of platinum-based first-line chemotherapy. One or more claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,772,209 ("the '209 patent") cover a method of administering pemetrexed disodium to a patient in need thereof that also involves administration of folic acid and vitamin B12.

This Indiana patent infringement lawsuit arises out of the filing by Defendant Fresenius of an Abbreviated New Drug Application ("ANDA") with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") seeking approval to manufacture and sell generic versions of ALIMTA prior to the expiration of the '209 patent. Fresenius included as a part its ANDA filing a certification of the type described in Section 505(j)(2)(A)(vii)(IV) of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 55(j)(2)(A)(vii)(IV), with respect to the '209 patent, asserting that the claims of the '209 patent are invalid, unenforceable, and/or not infringed by the manufacture, use, offer for sale, or sale of Fresenius' ANDA products.

In its patent infringement complaint, filed by an Indiana patent lawyer, Lilly states that Fresenius intends to engage in the manufacture, use, offer for sale, sale, marketing, distribution, and/or importation of Fresenius' ANDA Products and the proposed labeling therefor immediately and imminently upon approval its ANDA filing, i.e., prior to the expiration of the '209 patent. Lilly asserts that Fresenius' actions constitute and/or will constitute infringement of the '209 patent, active inducement of infringement of the '209 patent, and contribution to the infringement by others of the '209 patent.

Lilly asserts that, in a prior case, 10-cv-1376-TWP-DKL, the court rejected Fresenius' challenges to the validity of certain claims of the '209 patent. Accordingly, states Lilly, Fresenius should be estopped from challenging the validity of those claims of the '209 patent in the instant litigation.

Lilly lists a single count in this lawsuit - Infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,772,209 - and asks the court for:

a) A judgment that Fresenius has infringed the '209 patent and/or will infringe, actively induce infringement of, and/or contribute to infringement by others of the '209 patent;

b) A judgment ordering that the effective date of any FDA approval for Fresenius to make, use, offer for sale, sell, market, distribute, or import Fresenius' ANDA Product, or any product the use of which infringes the '209 patent, be not earlier than the expiration date of the '209 patent, inclusive of any extension(s) and additional period(s) of exclusivity;

c) A preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining Fresenius, and all persons acting in concert with Fresenius, from making, using, selling, offering for sale, marketing, distributing, or importing Fresenius' ANDA Product, or any product the use of which infringes the '209 patent, or the inducement of or contribution to any of the foregoing, prior to the expiration date of the '209 patent, inclusive of any extension(s) and additional period(s) of exclusivity;

d) A judgment declaring that making, using, selling, offering for sale, marketing, distributing, or importing of Fresenius' ANDA Product, or any product the use of which infringes the '209 patent, prior to the expiration date of the '209 patent, infringes, will infringe, will actively induce infringement of, and/or will contribute to the infringement by other of the '209 patent;

e) A declaration that this is an exceptional case and an award of attorneys' fees pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 285; and

f) An award of Lilly's costs and expenses in this litigation.

Continue reading "Indiana Patent Litigation: Lilly in Court Again Asserting Infringement of Alimta" »

January 30, 2015

Indiana Trademark Litigation: Archetype Sues Alleging Trade Dress Infringement


Indianapolis, Indiana - An Indiana intellectual property attorney for Archetype Ltd. ("Archetype") of Short Hills, New Jersey sued in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that LTD Commodities LLC ("LTD") of Bannockburn, Illinois infringed the trademark PathLights™.

Plaintiff Archetype contends that it has been marketing a distinctive and famous battery-operated motion-detection lighting system under the PathLights trademark since at least as early as 2009. It states that the overall look and feel of the PathLights product is non-functional and serves as a source identifier. In this Indiana lawsuit, Archetype accuses LTD of trade dress infringement, false designation of origin or sponsorship, passing off, and unfair competition.

Archetype indicates in the complaint that LTD is marketing, selling, and promoting a battery-operated motion-detection lighting product that is almost identical to Archetype's PathLights product. It further claims that the accused LTD lights illustrated on LTD's website are actually images of Archetype's PathLights product and that the lighting products that consumers actually receive from LTD upon purchase of the LTD product are not an Archetype's PathLights product but are, instead, a different, lower-quality light.

Defendant LTD is accused of "intentionally, willfully and deliberately pull[ing] a 'bait and switch' on consumers" and, in doing so, damaging Archetype's sales volume and business reputation.

In this lawsuit, filed by an Indiana intellectual property lawyer for Archetype, the following counts are asserted:

• Count I: Trade Dress Infringement

• Count II: False Designation of Origin or Sponsorship and Passing Off

• Count III: False Advertising

• Count IV: Trade Dress Dilution

Archetype asks the court for judgment that LTD's acts constitute trade dress infringement, unfair competition, false designation of origin and/or sponsorship, false advertising and trade dress dilution; for an award of LTD's profits and actual damages, including corrective advertising, as well as trebling those damages pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1117; for an order that all accused LTD products and other accused materials be surrendered for destruction; for an injunction; and for an award of Archetype's attorneys' fees, costs and expenses.

The case was assigned to Chief Judge Richard L. Young and Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue in the Southern District of Indiana and assigned Case No. 1:15-cv-00106-RLY-DKL.

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January 29, 2015

Indiana Patent Litigation: Knauf Alleges Infringement of Three Patents


Indianapolis, Indiana - Indiana patent attorneys for Knauf Insulation, LLC of Shelbyville, Indiana; Knauf Insulation GmbH of Iphofen, Germany; and Knauf Insulation SPRL of Visé, Belgium filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Johns Manville Corporation and Johns Manville, Inc., both of Denver, Colorado, infringed Patent Nos. 8,114,210 and 8,940,089, both for "Binders," and D631,670 for "Insulation Material."

Plaintiffs Knauf Insulation GmbH, Knauf Insulation SPRL, and Knauf Insulation, LLC are affiliated companies (collectively, "Knauf Insulation"). They produce and sell building materials including fiberglass insulation and related products. Defendants Johns Manville Corporation and Johns Manville, Inc., which are wholly owned subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., are stated to be direct competitors of Knauf Insulation GmbH and Knauf Insulation, LLC in the U.S. for fiberglass insulation products.

Plaintiffs Knauf Insulation SPRL and Knauf Insulation, LLC are each owners of one-half undivided interests of United States Patent Nos. 8,114,210 ("the '210 Patent"), 8,940,089 ("the '089 Patent") and D631,670 ("the '670 Patent"; collectively, the patents-in-suit), which have been registered by the U.S. Patent Office.

Defendants offer for sale various bio-based binder insulation products, including "Formaldehyde Free" "Bio-based binder" insulation products. These products are marketed as "EasyFit," "RANGE-GLAS EQ," "SPIN-GLAS WH EQ," "Flex-Glass EQ," "Microlite EQ," "Microlite L," "ComfortTherm," and "PEBS Blanket" insulation. Plaintiffs claim that the manufacture of these products infringes upon the patents-in-suit.

Specifically, Knauf Insulation contends that Defendants have infringed - directly, contributory and/or by inducement - various method claims of the patents-in-suit. That infringement, they claim, was willful and done with knowledge by Defendants with respect to the '210 and '670 patents. No claim of knowing or willful infringement was made with respect to the '089 patent, which issued on January 27, 2015, the date on which the complaint was filed. Knauf Insulation states that the patent infringement includes, in part, the manufacture of Johns Manville's bio-based binder insulation.

In this lawsuit, Indiana patent lawyers for Knauf Insulation list three counts against the Johns Manville Defendants:

• Count I - Infringement of U.S. Patent 8,114,210

• Count II - Infringement of U.S. Patent 8,940,089

• Count III - Infringement of U.S. Patent D631,670

Knauf Insulation asks the court for a judgment of infringement of the patents-in-suit; an injunction; damages, including treble damages; an award of Defendants' total profits, as well as other remedies under 35 U.S.C. §289 for the infringement of the '670 Patent; and an award of interest, fees and costs.

The case was assigned to Judge William T. Lawrence and Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore in the Southern District of Indiana and assigned Case No. 1:15-cv-00111-WTL-MJD.

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