Indianapolis, Indiana – Apparently Delta Faucet Company (“Delta”), the Plaintiff, employs a number of engineers to improve upon products within the plumbing industry including kitchen faucets. One of those engineers invented a “Magnetic Coupling for Sprayheads,” which is protected by U.S. Patent Nos. 10,669,702 and 10,724,217 (the “Patents At Issue”). This invention apparently provides for a simple and durable coupling between a pull-down sprayhead and the spout of a kitchen faucet.

Delta claims Defendant, As America, Inc. has infringed the Patents In Suit with its “Dock-Tite™ spray-head docking system.” Delta is seeking judgment pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §§ 271(a) and (b), an injunction pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 283, treble damages under 35 U.S.C. § 284, and attorneys’ fees pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 285.

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Showgirl-I-300x111Fort Wayne, Indiana – Apparently, the Plaintiffs in this case, Jessica Burciaga, Jessica Hinton, Jamie Eason Middleton, Lucy Pinder, Abigail Ratchford, Emily Scott, Denise Trlica, and Sara Underwood, are professional models. The Plaintiffs claim B&S Fort Wayne, Inc., Showgirl III, Inc. and Reba Enterprises LLC (collectively “Defendants”) doing business as Showgirl I and Showgirl III, have used their images and likeness to promote their strip clubs without permission of the Plaintiffs.

According to the Complaint, the Defendants’ use of the Plaintiffs’ pictures in connection with their strip clubs violates the Plaintiffs’ rights and violates the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), for false endorsement, unfair competition, and/or false advertising. Further, the Plaintiffs allege the Defendants have violated their right of publicity pursuant to Ind. Code § 32-36-1-0.2 et seq. Finally, the Plaintiffs claim the Defendants have been unjustly enriched by promoting their businesses using the Plaintiffs’ images and likeness.

At least two of the Plaintiffs in this case, Hinton and Pinder, are involved in a similar lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – The Trustees of Purdue University (“Purdue”), the Plaintiff, claims to own a number of registered and common law trademarks relating to Purdue University and its mascot (the “Trademarks”). According to the Complaint, Defendants, Vintage Brand, LLC and Sportswear Inc., sell Purdue-branded products utilizing the Trademarks without authorization or a license from Purdue. Purdue seeks declaratory judgment that Purdue owns and enjoys common law rights in the Trademarks and that Purdue’s rights are superior to the Defendants’ claim of any rights. Further, Purdue is seeking judgment against the Defendants for trademark infringement pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1114. Finally, Purdue is suing for common law passing off/unfair competition and trademark infringement.

Purdue University’s Registered Trademarks  Boilermaker2

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The U.S. Trademark Office issued the following 152 trademark registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in December 2020 based on applications filed by Indiana trademark attorneys:.

Reg. Number Word Mark
6230565 SALTWATER ARMS
6221997 LINCOLN ENHANCED VALUE
6216864 WE PICK UP PALLETS
6233215 PREMIUM SERVICE – NO SHENANIGANS!
6233134 YOUR CURB APPEAL IS OUR DEAL

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FantasyGentlemensClub-300x184Hammond, Indiana – Cora Skinner and Tiffany Toth Gray, the Plaintiffs, claim to be professional models residing in California. According to the Complaint, a model’s reputation impacts the commercial value associated with their image or likeness to promote a product or service. Further, the Plaintiffs assert they each have “the right to control the commercial exploitation of their name, image, likeness, and advertising ideas.”

Apparently, Sahara, Inc. d/b/a Fantasy (the “Club”), the Defendant, operates a strip club in Hammond, Indiana. The Plaintiffs claim the Club used their images to promote its business without permission or compensation. As such, the Plaintiffs are seeking compensation for false endorsement, unfair competition, and false advertising pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1125.

Plaintiffs further claim the Defendant violated their right of publicity under Ind. Code § 32-36-1-0.2 et seq. Finally, Plaintiffs claim the Defendant was unjustly enriched by misappropriated the images of the Plaintiffs to promote the Club.

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Mario-289x300Indianapolis, Indiana – Honorable Jane E. Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge for the District Court of the Southern District of Indiana, announced the selection of Mario Garcia for U.S. Magistrate Judge. Mr. Garcia will fill a new magistrate judgeship created for the Southern District of Indiana by the Judicial Conference of the United States. He will be the first Hispanic judge to serve the Southern District of Indiana.

Following graduation from law school, Mr. Garcia joined the law firm of Brattain Minnix, which became Brattain Minnix Garcia in 2008 when he became a partner and is currently a Managing Member. He has appeared in more than 500 civil and criminal hearings in Indiana’s federal and state courts in the past five years. Mr. Garcia is also a registered civil mediator; and was selected by the Indiana Federal Community Defender’s Office to lead the response to pro se compassionate release filings under the First Step Act.

Mr. Garcia is admitted to practice in U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Garcia is a member of the Southern District of Indiana’s Criminal Justice Act panel, through which he represents indigent clients.

kid-rock-150x150Indianapolis, Indiana – Apparently, Larry G. Philpot, the Plaintiff, is a well-known photographer of concerts and musicians throughout the United States. Mr. Philpot has filed multiple copyright infringement lawsuits to protect and enforce the rights to his photographs.  In this case, Mr. Philpot claims Mustard Seed Media, LLC and The Prosper Group Corporation, the Defendants, infringed his rights in copyright registration no. VAu 1-182-727, a photo Mr. Philpot allegedly took of Kid Rock.  Mr. Philpot is seeking damages for copyright infringement against both Defendants pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §§ 504 and 505.

 

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New Albany, Indiana –Thomas A. Person (“Person”), the Plaintiff, claims to have invented a cigar “Cedar spill” protected by U.S. Patent Nos. 8,507,070 and D664,292 (the “‘070 Patent”, the “‘292 Patent”, collectively “Person’s Patents”).  The entity Defendants, Cigar Reserve LLC and Collett Enterprises, Incorporated, allegedly sell products that infringe Person’s Patents.  The individual Defendants, Brian and Chanda Kurland, are each purportedly members of and control Cigar Reserve.

According to the Complaint, Person discovered Cigar Reserve was selling a cedar spill for a cigar around August 13, 2013. After multiple communications with Mr. Kurland, the two parties entered into a License Agreement on June 16, 2014.  The term of the License Agreement was seemingly extended on at least two occasions until Mr. Kurland was informed the License Agreement would terminate on January 1, 2017.  Person states he discovered allegedly infringing products being sold by the Defendants on October 3, 2020, more than three years after the License Agreement ended.  Therefore, Person is suing for patent infringement of both Person’s Patents pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 271.

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New Albany, Indiana –Sandcraft, LLC dba Sandcraft Motorsports (“Sandcraft”), the Plaintiff designs, manufactures, and sells aftermarket parts for Utility Terrain Vehicles (“UTV”).  Apparently one such part is a “CARRIER BEARING ASSEMBLY” protected by United States Patent No. 10,471,825 (the “‘825 Patent”), which was assigned to Sandcraft.  Sandcraft claims it makes and sells carrier bearings products that embody and use the inventions claimed in the ‘825 Patent bearing the patent number (the “Sandcraft Products”).

According to the Complaint, Super ATV, LLC dba SuperATV, the Defendant, makes, imports, and/or sells carrier bearings products that allegedly infringe the ‘825 Patent (the “Accused Products”).  Sandcraft claims SuperATV monitors the UTV market and the intellectual property of its competitors and therefore had actual notice of or was willfully blind to the existence of the ‘825 Patent since at least May 14, 2018, the date the patent application published.  Further, Sandcraft claims SuperATV had actual notice of the ‘825 Patent at least as of February 26, 2020 based on correspondence sent to SuperATV’s counsel.  Therefore, Sandcraft is seeking damages for patent infringement in violation of 35 U.S.C. § 271 pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §§ 154(d) and 284.BlogPhoto-e1608672857600 Continue reading

donna-chandler-800x760-1-300x285-1-150x150Indianapolis, Indiana – According to the Complaint, Donna Chandler (“Chandler”), one of the Defendants and owner of Co-Defendant, Show Colors, Inc. (“Show Colors”), is the author of a canine training book called “Good Dog!” Apparently, Chandler along with Plaintiffs, Kevin DeTrude (“DeTrude”) and Content & Commerce, Inc. (“Content” and collectively “Plaintiffs”), are members of nominal defendant, My K9 Behaves LLC (“My K9”). Content is allegedly in the business of website development and marketing and is owned by Keneth Zweigel (“Zweigel”). Per the Complaint, Chandler, DeTrude, and Zweigel began working on an online instruction course based upon two books written by Chandler (the “Online Class”) in January 2016. The parties apparently also discussed converting the text-based course to a video format.

Two videos were allegedly recorded and paid for by DeTrude in 2016 with a script for a third video written around February 2017. It appears Chandler, Content, and DeTrude officially formed their business on April 4, 2017, but the parties did not execute an Operating Agreement for the business until mid-June 2017, which included clauses assigning all common law and registered trademark and copyrights, including Chandler’s books and the publishing rights to My K9 (the “Assigned Rights”). Upon dissolution or the termination of Chandler’s ownership in My K9, the Assigned Rights would allegedly revert back to Chandler. According to the Complaint, shortly after the Operating Agreement was executed, a third video was recorded and paid for by Zweigel.

As My K9 was experiencing apparent success, the company entered into a Publishing Agreement for a third book to be written by Chandler with the rights assigned to My K9. Allegedly due to the length of time spent writing the book, the first Publishing Agreement was revoked, and a Second Publishing Agreement was put in place. The Plaintiffs claim Chandler then began demanding a greater portion of the profits and ultimately decided if the rights to the third book were not in her name only, she simply would not publish the third book. Chandler then apparently informed DeTrude and Content that she was withdrawing her membership in My K9 and demanded they cease and desist using her name or likeness and re-assign the Assigned Rights back to her.

DeTrude and Content are seeking a declaratory judgment of copyright and trademark ownership “including any derivative or original intellectual property created by or on behalf of My K9. Further, to the extent the Plaintiffs own any of the copyrighted works, they allege Chandler and Show Colors have infringed those works by profiting off the sale of the works individually and not for the benefit of My K9. To the extent Plaintiffs own any trademarks, they are similarly claiming trademark infringement. Plaintiffs have also brought derivative and direct claims for breach of fiduciary duty, usurpation of corporate opportunities, theft and conversion pursuant to I.C. § 35-43-4-3. Finally, Plaintiffs are claiming breach of contract for Defendants’ alleged breach of the Operating Agreement.

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