October 7, 2015

Patent Office Issues 223 Patents To Indiana Citizens in September 2015

The U.S. Patent Office issued the following 223 patent registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in September 2015, based on applications filed by Indiana patent attorneys:

PAT. NO. Title
D739,945 Blood glucose meter
D739,920 Valve
D739,723 Container
9,148,986 Multi-curved, unibody fiberglass touchscreen kiosk with interchangeable component cages
9,146,135 Meter display during power interruption
9,146,070 Modular adjustable cam stop arrangement
9,145,938 Metal matrix composite
9,145,566 Renewable engine fuel and method of producing same
9,145,451 Glucagon superfamily peptides exhbiting G protein coupled receptor activity
9,145,437 Urea compounds

Continue reading "Patent Office Issues 223 Patents To Indiana Citizens in September 2015" »

October 5, 2015

179 Trademark Registrations Issued to Indiana Companies in September 2015

The U.S. Trademark Office issued the following 179 trademark registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in September 2015 based on applications filed by Indiana trademark attorneys:

Registration No.  Word Mark Click To View
4822217 EARTHBITES LIVE
4822216 OVERLAND RED LIVE
4822215 GREAT PLAINS FEAST LIVE
4821983 MISSION EURASIA TRAIN TO LEAD. EQUIP TO SERVE. LIVE
4821913 TRI-CON LIVE
4821878 WEAVER CONSULTANTS GROUP LIVE
4821834 EDGE MENTORING LIVE
4821736 ALL SEASONS HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING CO. INC. LIVE
4821516 TINY(ER) HOUSES LIVE
4821488 LIVE
4823941 WAR HORSE BY RUSH LIVE

Continue reading " 179 Trademark Registrations Issued to Indiana Companies in September 2015" »

October 2, 2015

Indiana Trademark Litigation: Indigo Vapor Enterprises Sues Indigo Vapor Company

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South Bend, Indiana - Indigo Vapor Enterprises LLC of South Bend, Indiana commenced intellectual property litigation against Indigo Vapor Company, LLC, Robert Lee Martin and Charles Nandier of Tucson, Arizona.

Indigo Vapor Enterprises is in the business of selling "vaping" and e-cigarette materials across the United States and throughout the world. It alleges that Defendant sells similar goods in the same marketplace.

Plaintiff contends that Defendants infringed its trademarks, consisting of a stylized INDIGO VAPOR trademark, Registration No. 4,790,247, and a second trademark for INDIGO VAPOR, Registration No. 4,790,244 by using the Indigo Vapor Enterprises name and those trademarks to promote Defendants' competing products. These accused uses include the operation of a website at www.indigovaporcompany.com. Both trademarks have been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Plaintiff alleges trademark infringement, dilution and false designation of origin under the Lanham Act. It also asserts cybersquatting under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act ("ACPA") and trademark infringement and unfair competition under the common law of Indiana and other states.

In this lawsuit, filed by Indiana trademark attorneys for Indigo Vapor Enterprises, the following causes of action are listed:

• Count I - Federal Trademark Infringement - Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. § 1114)
• Count II - Federal Unfair Competition - Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. § 1125(a))
• Count III - False Designation of Origin - Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)(1)(B))
• Count IV - Federal Trademark Dilution - Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. § 1125(c))
• Count V - Federal Cybersquatting - ACPA and Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. § 1125(d))
• Count VI - Common Law Trademark Infringement

• Count VII - Common Law Unfair Competition

Plaintiff seeks equitable relief as well as damages, costs and attorneys' fees.

Continue reading "Indiana Trademark Litigation: Indigo Vapor Enterprises Sues Indigo Vapor Company" »

October 1, 2015

Indiana Patent Litigation: Additional Complaint Asserting Patent Infringement Filed Against Lippert

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Elkhart, Indiana - Indiana patent attorneys for Lifetime Industries, Inc. and LTI Flexible Products, Inc. of Modesto, California have filed another complaint asserting patent infringement against Lippert Components Manufacturing, Inc. of Elkhart, Indiana. This lawsuit alleges that Defendant infringed Patent Nos. 6,966,590 for a "Two-Part Seal for a Slide-Out Room," 7,614,676 for a "Resilient Seal for Mobile Living Quarters," and 7,614,677 for a "Seal Assembly for Mobile Living Quarters." These patents have been issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Lippert, a subsidiary of Drew Industries, is a supplier serving the recreational vehicle, manufactured housing, trailer, and bus industries. It offers a line of products intended to improve the mobile lifestyle. Although Plaintiffs have a principal place of business in California, both operate a manufacturing facility in Elkhart, Indiana.

Three patents - Patent Nos. 6,966,590 ("the '590 patent"), 7,614,676 ("the '676 patent") and 7,614,677 ("the '677 patent") - are at issue in this intellectual property litigation. Defendant Lippert has been accused of making, offering for sale and/or selling products that infringe upon one or more of these patents. Some of these activities purportedly occurred on two or more recreational vehicles manufactured by facilities in Indiana.

The first accused product is a two-part seal that allegedly infringes one or more claims of the '590 patent. The second and third accused products, both "Slide Armor" seals, purportedly infringe as many as all of the patents-in-suit.

A cease-and-desist letter was sent to Jason Lippert, the CEO of Defendant, in March 2015. Plaintiff contends that, despite this letter and the communications that followed, Defendant's manufacture, offer for sale, and sale of each of the accused products has continued.

In this Indiana complaint, patent lawyers for Plaintiffs assert the following claims:

• Count 1: Direct Infringement of the '590 Patent
• Count 2: Direct Infringement of the '676 Patent
• Count 3: Direct Infringement of the '677 Patent
• Count 4: Induced Infringement of the '590 Patent

• Count 5: Contributory Infringement of the '590 Patent

Plaintiffs ask the court to enter a declaration of direct, induced and contributory infringement as well as a declaration that infringement has been willful. Plaintiffs also ask for injunctive relief; damages, including treble damages; and costs and attorneys' fees.

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September 30, 2015

Indiana Copyright Litigation: Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Removed to Federal Court

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Evansville, Indiana - Responding to a complaint filed in Indiana state court by Indiana copyright attorneys, a defense lawyer filed a motion to remove the lawsuit to a federal court in the Southern District of Indiana - Evansville Division.

Plaintiff Professional Transportation, Inc. of Evansville, Indiana ("PTI") is the former employer of Defendant Robert Warmka of Savage, Minnesota. Warmka worked for PTI from September 2012 to December 2013. PTI contends that this employment was governed in part by a trade-secrets agreement. Subsequent to leaving employment with PTI, Warmka began employment with Minnesota Coaches Inc. ("MCI") d/b/a Crew Motion, a competitor of PTI.

PTI filed this copyright lawsuit in Vanderburgh Superior Court alleging that Warmka infringed its intellectual property by his use of Plaintiff's copyrighted driver's manual within MCI's driver's manual. PTI contends that multiple sections of PTI's manual were reproduced nearly verbatim in MCI's manual. PTI claims that this manual was filed with the U.S. Copyright Office "on or before 2012." Plaintiff further contends that Defendant appropriated Plaintiff's confidential material and trade secrets in violation of a trade secret agreement executed by both parties in 2012.

In this lawsuit, filed by Indiana copyright lawyers, the following counts are asserted:

• Count I: Indiana Trade Secret Violation
• Count II: Unfair Competition

• Count III: Copyright Infringement

Plaintiff alleges loss of business and profits and seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages.

Copyright attorneys for Warmka filed a notice of removal, stating that federal subject-matter jurisdiction was proper on the basis of both federal-question jurisdiction and diversity-of-citizenship jurisdiction.

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September 28, 2015

Copyright Law: Important Win for Fair Use in 'Dancing Baby' Lawsuit

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San Francisco, California - Federal court of appeals affirms that copyright owners must consider fair use in online copyright takedowns.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed that copyright holders must consider whether a use of material is fair before sending a takedown notice. The ruling came in Lenz v. Universal, often called the "dancing baby" lawsuit.

In 2007, Stephanie Lenz posted a 29-second video to YouTube of her children dancing in her kitchen. The Prince song "Let's Go Crazy" was playing on a stereo in the background of the short clip. Universal Music Group sent YouTube a notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), claiming that the family video infringed the copyright in Prince's song. The Electronic Frontier Foundation ("EFF") sued Universal on Lenz's behalf, arguing that Universal abused the DMCA by improperly targeting a lawful fair use.

The appeals court ruled that copyright holders like Universal must consider fair use before trying to remove content from the Internet. It also rejected Universal's claim that a victim of takedown abuse cannot vindicate her rights if she cannot show actual monetary loss.

"[This] ruling sends a strong message that copyright law does not authorize thoughtless censorship of lawful speech," said EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry. "We're pleased that the court recognized that ignoring fair use rights makes content holders liable for damages."

The ruling in the Lenz case comes at a critical time. Heated political campaigns - like the current presidential primaries - have historically led to a rash of copyright takedown abuse. Criticism of politicians often includes short clips of campaign appearances in order to make arguments to viewers, and broadcast networks, candidates, and other copyright holders have sometimes misused copyright law to remove the criticism from the Internet.

"The decision made by the appeals court today has ramifications far beyond Ms. Lenz's rights to share her video with family and friends," said McSherry. "We will all watch a lot of online video and analysis of presidential candidates in the months to come, and this ruling will help make sure that information remains uncensored."

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.

For more on this case see: https://www.eff.org/cases/lenz-v-universal.

September 24, 2015

Indiana Copyright Law: Court Will Not Reconsider Dismissal of Pro Se Litigant's Lawsuit

Indianapolis, Indiana - The Southern District of Indiana denied Plaintiff Larry Philpot's 

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motion to reconsider the dismissal of his 2014 lawsuit alleging copyright infringement.

Acting as his own copyright lawyer, Philpot, a professional photographer of Indianapolis, Indiana filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Music Times, LLC of New York, New York. He alleged that Defendant infringed his copyright on a photograph of Norah Jones taken during a performance in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The photo had been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office as Certificate No. VAu 1-164-648.

Prior to this motion to reconsider, Philpot had last taken on the case on December 15, 2014. He had then failed to prosecute the case further. On April 17, 2015, the court set an April 30th deadline by which Philpot must show good cause for his failure to take additional actions to advance the copyright infringement lawsuit. Philpot did not respond and, on August, 26, 2015, the court dismissed the litigation.

Plaintiff Philpot, upon being notified of the court's dismissal of the lawsuit, filed a motion asking the court to reconsider. He stated that he had not received notice of the court's April 17th order and that his failure to prosecute had been a result of being "completely overwhelmed" due to having filed "too many actions." On these grounds, he asked the court to reverse its earlier entry of judgment against him.

The court declined to do so. Under Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 59(e), a court is permitted to alter or amend its judgment "only if the petitioner can demonstrate a manifest error of law or present newly discovered evidence." Because Plaintiff did not demonstrate either - and because his failure to do so would not be excused merely due to his pro se status - the court denied the motion to reconsider.

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September 23, 2015

Indiana Copyright Litigation: Latitude 360 Indianapolis Sued for Copyright Infringement

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Jacksonville, Florida - A copyright lawyer for Universal Music Corp., WB Music Corp., EMI April Music, Inc., Bovina Music, Inc., and B.I.G. Poppa Music, all members of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers ("ASCAP"), sued in the Middle District of Florida asserting copyright infringement against Latitude 360 Nevada, Inc., Latitude 360 Jacksonville LLC, Latitude 39 Group LLC, Latitude 360 Indianapolis LLC and Brent W. Brown. ASCAP is headquartered in New York, New York. Among the Defendants is Indianapolis restaurant Latitude 360 Indianapolis.

ASCAP is a membership association. It licenses and protects the public performance rights of more than half a million members, including songwriters, composers and music publishers. Latitude 360 Indianapolis is a place of business that offers public entertainment and refreshment.

Plaintiffs have asserted that Latitude Indianapolis 360 infringed multiple copyrighted works by permitting unlicensed performances of copyrighted works belonging to Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs claim that, since November 2012, they have attempted to contact Latitude 360 Indianapolis and/or other Defendants more than 40 times to offer an ASCAP license but that these offers were refused. Four causes of action for copyright infringement have been alleged in this copyright lawsuit.

Plaintiffs ask for injunctive relief against Defendants ordering them to cease publicly performing Plaintiffs' compositions; and a judgment for statutory damages, attorney's fees and costs.

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September 21, 2015

Indiana Copyright Litigation: CelebrityCafé.com Dismissed from Copyright Lawsuit; Court Allows New Defendants to be Added

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Indianapolis, Indiana - The Southern District of Indiana has granted a motion by Defendant The Celebrity Café.com, Inc. ("Celebrity") to dismiss the copyright infringement complaint filed by Larry G. Philpot of Indianapolis, Indiana. The court also granted Philpot's motion to amend his complaint.

Plaintiff Philpot is a professional photographer who photographs concert events across the country. He copyrights his photographs and licenses them to others. In December 2014, Philpot sued Celebrity of Oceanside, New York asserting that it had infringed his copyrights by posting two photographs that Philpot had registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. The photos at issue are a 2009 photograph of Willie Nelson and a 2013 photo of Kid Rock.

An Indiana copyright attorney for Defendant Celebrity moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that Defendant was not subject to personal jurisdiction in Indiana and that the Southern District of Indiana was an improper venue. A short time later, Philpot asked the court's permission to amend his complaint to include additional defendants. By this order, the court granted both parties' requests.

On the issue of jurisdiction, the court held that Philpot had failed to meet his burden to demonstrate the necessary minimum contacts between Celebrity and the State of Indiana. The court found Celebrity to be a New York business that "is not registered to do business in Indiana. It does not have any offices, paid employees, members, agents, or operations in Indiana. Celebrity has no telephone or fax listings in Indiana. It also has no bank accounts in Indiana, has never paid taxes in Indiana, and does not own, lease, or control any property or assets in Indiana. Dominick Miserandino, Celebrity's sole member, has been to Indiana only twice in his life...."

Moreover, the court held that Celebrity's use of its website, which it had owned and operated from January 2003 to December 3, 2014, was insufficient to confer jurisdiction upon an Indiana court. Quoting the Seventh Circuit, it stated:

Courts should be careful in resolving questions about personal jurisdiction involving online contacts to ensure that a defendant is not haled into court simply because the defendant owns or operates a website that is accessible in the forum state, even if that site is interactive. Beyond simply operating an interactive website that is accessible from the forum state, a defendant must in some way target the forum state's market. If the defendant merely operates a website, even a highly interactive website, that is accessible from, but does not target, the forum state, then the defendant may not be haled into court in that state without offending the Constitution.

be2 LLC v. Ivanov, 642 F.3d 555, 558-59 (7th Cir. 2011) (citations and quotation marks omitted).

The court noted that, while it might appear that advertisements on Celebrity's webpages were targeting Indiana residents due to Indiana-specific content, those advertisements were not the result of Celebrity's actions to target Indiana. Instead, the advertisements were shown as a result of internet "cookies" that tracked the location of internet end users and then selected and displayed location-specific content from third parties, including content that was specific to Indiana.

Thus, an exercise of personal jurisdiction over Celebrity in Indiana was found to be improper. For similar reasons, venue in the Southern District of Indiana was also held to be improper. The court did, however, permit Philpot to amend his complaint, finding that his request to do so had been timely filed.

Continue reading "Indiana Copyright Litigation: CelebrityCafé.com Dismissed from Copyright Lawsuit; Court Allows New Defendants to be Added " »

September 18, 2015

Indiana Intellectual Property Litigation: J & J Sports Files New Lawsuits in Southern District of Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana - Via its intellectual property counsel, Plaintiff J & J Sports Productions, Inc. of Campbell, California ("J & J Sports") filed two separate intellectual

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 property complaints in the Southern District of Indiana alleging unlawful interception and broadcast of "The One" on Saturday, September 14, 2013.

The Defendants in the first lawsuit are Alejandro Soriano Perez, individually and d/b/a El Palenque Restaurant, and El Palenque, #1 LLC, of Noblesville, Indiana. In the second lawsuit, J & J Sports sued Edis Mejia, individually and d/b/a LaCasacada Authentic Mexican Restaurant and Mejia-Miranda, Inc. of Elwood, Indiana.

J & J Sports states that it is the exclusive domestic commercial closed-circuit distributor of the Program. It has sued the Defendants under the Communications Act of 1934 and The Cable & Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992. Specifically, Defendants have been accused of violating 47 U.S.C. § 605 and 47 U.S.C. § 553 by displaying the Program at issue on September 14, 2013 without an appropriate license. A count of conversion is also included in both lawsuits.

Plaintiff has sued the non-LLC Defendants as individuals, alleging that they had the right and ability to supervise the activities of the commercial establishments that allegedly engaged in the illegal interception. J & J Sports asserts that the activities that they supervised included the unlawful interception of Plaintiff's "The One" Program.

J & J Sports also contends that the individual Defendants specifically directed the employees of the restaurants to unlawfully intercept and broadcast Plaintiff's Program at the commercial establishments or, if they did not, that the actions of the employees of the restaurants are directly imputable to the Defendants sued as individuals by virtue of their purported responsibility for the activities of their respective establishments.

In these two Indiana interception complaints, the intellectual property attorney for J & J Sports listed the following counts:

• Count I: Violation of Title 47 U.S.C. § 605
• Count II: Violation of Title 47 U.S.C. § 553

• Count III: Conversion

J & J Sports asks for damages, as well as costs and attorneys' fees.

Continue reading "Indiana Intellectual Property Litigation: J & J Sports Files New Lawsuits in Southern District of Indiana" »

September 17, 2015

Indiana Copyright Litigation: Attorney/Photographer Sues Georgia Real Estate Company for Infringing Copyrighted Photo

Indianapolis, Indiana - Filing on his own behalf, copyright attorney and professional photographer Richard N. Bell of McCordsville, Indiana initiated litigation in the Southern District of Indiana alleging copyright infringement by KG American Real Estate Holdings, LLC ("KG") of Duluth, Georgia.

In 2000, Plaintiff Bell photographed the downtown Indianapolis skyline. Bell claims that the KG used this photo, U.S. Copyright Registration No. VA0001785115, without Plaintiff's permission. Bell states that KG created "a website to promote and advertise its own real estate business" and displayed Bell's copyrighted photo on that website. Bell further claims that this company "willfully and recklessly falsely claimed that it owned the copyrights of all images and photos" contained on its website, http://richliferealestate.com/location/indianapolis-metro/, including Bell's photo of Indianapolis.

In this Indiana federal litigation, a single count is listed: copyright infringement and unfair competition. Bell asks for injunctive relief to prevent KG from using Bell's copyrighted photo without consent as well as a judgment for damages, attorney's fees and costs.

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

Sovereign Immunity May Take a Toll on Bell's Latest Copyright Lawsuit
Appellate Court Dismisses Copyright Appeal as Premature
Bell Rings in the Holiday Weekend with a New Copyright Lawsuit
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: Attorney/Photographer Sues Georgia Real Estate Company for Infringing Copyrighted Photo" »

September 16, 2015

Indiana Intellectual Property Litigation: J & J Sports Files Three New Lawsuits in Northern District of Indiana

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Fort Wayne, Indiana - Via its intellectual property counsel, Plaintiff J & J Sports Productions, Inc. of Campbell, California ("J & J Sports") filed three separate intellectual property complaints in the Northern District of Indiana alleging unlawful interception and broadcast of "The One" on Saturday, September 14, 2013.

The Defendants in the first lawsuit are Leonor Navarro and Sergio Navarro, individually and d/b/a La Santa Anita Family Grill, and Navarro Family Restaurant LLC, also d/b/a La Santa Anita Family Grill, all of Fort Wayne, Indiana. In the second lawsuit, J & J Sports sued Marco Puente, individually and d/b/a Estrella's Sports Bar and Rumurs LLC, also d/b/a Estrella's Sports Bar, both of Hammond, Indiana. Defendant Virginia Ramirez of Fort Wayne, Indiana was sued individually and d/b/a La Puerta Negra in the third complaint.

J & J Sports states that it is the exclusive domestic commercial closed-circuit distributor of the Program. It has sued the Defendants, both individually and doing business as commercial entities, under the Communications Act of 1934 and The Cable & Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992. Specifically, Defendants have been accused of violating 47 U.S.C. § 605 and 47 U.S.C. § 553 by displaying the Program at issue on September 14, 2013 without an appropriate license. A count of conversion is also included in each lawsuit.

Plaintiff has sued the non-LLC Defendants as individuals, alleging that they had the right and ability to supervise the activities of the commercial establishments that allegedly engaged in the illegal interception. J & J Sports asserts that the activities that they supervised included the unlawful interception of Plaintiff's Program.

J & J Sports contends that the individual Defendants specifically directed the employees of the restaurants to unlawfully intercept and broadcast Plaintiff's Program at the commercial establishments or, if they did not, that the actions of the employees of the restaurants are directly imputable to the Defendants sued as individuals by virtue of their purported responsibility for the activities of their respective establishments.

In all of these Indiana interception complaints, the intellectual property attorney for J & J Sports listed the following counts:

• Count I: Violation of Title 47 U.S.C. § 605
• Count II: Violation of Title 47 U.S.C. § 553

• Count III: Conversion

J & J Sports asks for damages, as well as costs and attorneys' fees.

Continue reading "Indiana Intellectual Property Litigation: J & J Sports Files Three New Lawsuits in Northern District of Indiana" »

September 15, 2015

Indiana Copyright Litigation: Former School Employee Sues Schools for Unauthorized Use of Copyrighted Program

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South Bend, Indiana - Pro se Plaintiff Angela E. Brooks-Ngwenya, of Fort Wayne, Indiana has filed a copyright complaint in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that The Mind Trust, United Way of Central Indiana, Central Indiana Education Alliance, Phalen Leadership Academies, and Indianapolis Public Schools ("IPS"), all of Indianapolis, Indiana, committed copyright infringement.

Plaintiff contends that she piloted a program, Transitioning Into Responsible Students ("TIRS") at Gambold Middle School in 2002. She claims that she filed for copyright protection on TIRS in 2006 and that she received a copyright registration in 2008 from the U.S. Copyright Office.

Brooks-Ngwenya claims that her copyrighted material has been infringed by several of Defendants' programs, including Bridges To Success Education School Model and the Phalen Leadership Academies Education Model.

According to documents filed with the court, prior federal litigation between Brooks-Ngwenya and IPS, which included allegations by Plaintiff of race and gender discrimination, was concluded through a confidential settlement agreement between the parties. Brooks-Ngwenya asserts that these current claims of copyright infringement were excluded from that settlement agreement. Prior litigation between the parties in Marion County court included disability claims made by Brooks-Ngwenya.

Plaintiff drafted a cease and desist order for the court's review as part of her filing and asked that the court enforce it pending a settlement. She also requested a mediation hearing.

Continue reading "Indiana Copyright Litigation: Former School Employee Sues Schools for Unauthorized Use of Copyrighted Program" »

September 11, 2015

Indiana Copyright Litigation: BMI Asserts Copyright Infringement Against Hardy's Café

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New Albany, Indiana - A copyright attorney for Broadcast Music, Inc. ("BMI") of New York, New York filed a complaint for copyright infringement in the Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division against Philkerr, LLC d/b/a Hardy's Café and Steven Phillips, individually, both of Scottsburg, Indiana.

BMI asserts that it has been granted the right to license the public performance rights of approximately 8.5 million copyrighted musical compositions. In this Indiana copyright litigation, BMI alleges 15 counts of copyright infringement. In addition to Plaintiff BMI, this lawsuit was instituted on behalf of twenty-five other Plaintiffs. These Plaintiffs claim ownership to the copyrighted compositions at issue.

The Defendants in this lawsuit are Philkerr LLC and Steven Phillips, the owner of Philkerr. They are accused of having infringed the copyrights-in-suit by causing the unauthorized public performance of BMI members' musical works at Hardy's Café.

Through this lawsuit filed by their copyright lawyer, Plaintiffs ask for an injunction restraining Defendants from publicly performing Plaintiffs' compositions without authorization from BMI and a judgment for statutory damages, attorney's fees and the costs of the litigation.


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September 9, 2015

Indiana Copyright Litigation: Court Allows Copyright Plaintiff to Add New Defendants

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Indianapolis, Indiana - Acting as his own Indiana copyright lawyer, Larry G. Philpot of Indianapolis, Indiana, filed a motion to amend his complaint in the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division in his ongoing intellectual property litigation against Mansion America, LLC and Oak Ridge Boys Theater of Branson, Missouri.

This lawsuit, which was filed in August 2014, alleges that Defendants Mansion America, LLC and Oak Ridge Boys Theater infringed the copyright of a photo that Plaintiff Philpot took of Willie Nelson during a 2009 performance in St. Louis, Missouri. A copyright to the photograph, Certificate Number VAu 1-132-411, was issued by the U.S. Copyright Office in 2012.

Mansion America filed a motion to dismiss the copyright litigation. The court granted Philpot leave to conduct limited discovery to assist him in responding to that motion. Plaintiff Philpot now indicates to the court that the discovery provided him with additional information, including the identities of additional parties who had been before been unknown to him. Philpot consequently asked the court for leave to amend his complaint.

The court noted that that, while the time for amending the complaint as a matter of right had elapsed, it was still within the court's discretion to allow the amendment and that, under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the court should "freely give leave when justice so requires." Finding that there had been "no undue delay, bad faith, dilatory motive, undue prejudice, or futility of amendment," and that Philpot had "diligently pursued discovery and prosecuted his case," the court found that justice required that leave be granted to Philpot to amend his complaint.

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