Fort Wayne, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Rieke LLC of Auburn, Indiana, filed suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Technocraft Industries India Ltd. (“Technocraft”) of India but allegedly doing business in this District, infringed its rights in United States Patent No. 8,292,133 (“the ‘133BlogPhoto1-300x158 Patent”) for “Vented Closure Assembly for a Container”, Patent No. D608,641 (“the ‘641 Patent”) for “Closure for a Container With Retaining Ring”, and Patent No. D610,007 (“the ‘007 Patent) for “Closure for a Container With Retaining Ring”. Rieke is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions, compensatory damages, punitive damages, treble damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and pre and BlogPhoto2-300x131post judgment interest.

Rieke claims its product being infringed in this case, the Flexspout II, which is an “anti-glugging pouring dispenser with a removable cap that can be crimped on to drums, barrels, or other containers”, is so unique it has three patents covering the invention. According to the complaint, Technocraft’s Managing Director, Sharad Kumar Saraf (“Saraf”), visits the U.S. frequently to attend trade shows and solicit customers and business partners. Rieke alleges Saraf attended a trade show in April 2018 at which he inspected the Flexspout II sample, asked questions about its patent protection, and that he was informed by Rieke’s representative that it would “protect its innovations and defend itself if Technocraft copied Rieke’s innovative designs.”

According to the complaint, Technocraft makes and offers for sale a foreign-made version of the product to Rieke’s U.S. customers at a much lower price than Rieke offers. After discovering Technocraft’s allegedly infringing actions, Rieke reached out to Saraf by phone and through a follow up cease and desist letter. Technocraft, according to Rieke, refuses to fully comply with the requests in Rieke’s letter and did not provide Rieke with all of the information requested. As such, Rieke filed suit seeking damages for the infringement of the ‘133 Patent, the ‘641 Patent, and the ‘007 Patent.

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Fort Wayne, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, North American Van Lines, Inc. (“NAVL”) of Fort Wayne, Indiana, filed suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Kettering Moving and Storage, Inc. (“Kettering”) of Dayton, Ohio, infringed its United States Trademark Registrations.

 

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NAVL is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions, profits, actual damages, costs and attorney’s fees, investigatory fees, and further relief the court deems appropriate.

NAVL claims it has been providing transportation services since 1933 and has been using the marks NORTH AMERICAN and NORTH AMERICAN VAN LINES in connection with those services for many years. According to the complaint, there are seven registered marks at issue in this case. NAVL claims it has licensed companies to act as NAVL Agents including the right to use NAVL’s registered marks, but it has been careful in limiting such licensing activities. NAVL asserts that through its use of its registered marks and the control it maintained in their use through licensing agreements, the registered marks have acquired a secondary meaning.

Per the complaint, Kettering provides moving and storage services throughout the world. NAVL claims it had an agency contract with Kettering prior to July 24, 2018 in which Kettering was allowed to use NAVL’s registered marks. However, NAVL asserts that it terminated that relationship through a letter sent to Kettering on July 24, 2018. After being informed Kettering was still utilizing NAVL’s registered marks, NAVL claims it informed Kettering to cease and desist on February 28, 2019. NAVL claims Kettering disregarded this cease and desist and continues to display NAVL’s registered marks on its vehicles and signs.

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Overhauser Law Offices, the publisher of this site, assists with US and foreign patent searches, patent applications and assists with enforcing patents via infringement litigation and licensing.

The U.S. Patent Office issued the following 187 patent registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in June 2019, based on applications filed by Indiana patent attorneys:

Patent No. Title
1 D0852330 Faucet handle
2 D0852329 Faucet body
3 D0852328 Faucet waterway
4 D0852327 Faucet
5 D0852325 Faucet

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The U.S. Trademark Office issued the following  207 trademark registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in June 2019 based on applications filed by Indiana trademark attorneys:

Registration No.  Word Mark
5790075 DUCKMOBILE
5787884 GX
5787765 KOMPASS
5787747 AUTOCAM360

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Bodum USA, Inc. (“Bodum”) originally filed this case against A Top New Casting Inc. (“A Top”) in the Northern District of Illinois on claims of trade dress infringement. After a jury verdict found for Bodum and awarded $2 million in damages, A Top brought this appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The Court of Appeals affirmed the findings and damages awarded.

BlogPhoto-1-300x232Bodum began selling French press coffeemakers in the 1970s and began distributing the Chambord French press at issue in this case in 1983. Bodum claimed it acquired exclusive distribution rights to the Chambord French press in 1991 and has since spent millions of dollars in marketing and advertising the product. A Top began selling their French press, the SterlingPro, through Amazon in 2014.

In March 2016, Bodum filed a complaint for “trade dress infringement under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a); common law unfair competition; and violation of the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act”. While A Top moved for summary judgment twice, these motions were denied, and a jury trial took place in March 2018. The jury found that A Top willfully infringed the Chambord trade dress and awarded Bodum $2 million in damages. The district court denied A Top’s motion for judgment as a matter of law and granted Bodum’s motion for enhanced damages to $4 million dollars and a permanent injunction against A Top selling the SterlingPro products.

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South Bend, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Zimmer, Inc. (“Zimmer”) of Warsaw, Indiana, filed suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendants, Zimmer MedizinSystems of Irvine, California and Zimmer Elektromedizin GmbH, of Neu-Ulm, Germany, infringed its rights for multiple trademarks, as seen below:

 

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Zimmer is seeking a permanent injunction, damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees.

According to the complaint, Zimmer is a globally trusted brand for its musculoskeletal care and has utilized the mark ZIMMER in connection with its musculoskeletal goods and services since 1927. Zimmer claims it began using the “Z” logo by 2004 and consumers have come to associate the “Z” logo with Zimmer goods and services including those services for sports medicine and podiatry. Zimmer alleges it has a great amount of commercial success and its annual sales are in the billions, with multiple millions of dollars being used for advertising and promotions each year.

Zimmer claims Defendants have offered goods and services relating to cosmetics and aesthetics applications for years, with which Zimmer had no issue. According to the complaint, the issues began when Defendants began using “Zimmer” “Zimmer MedizinSystems” and “Zimmer MedizinSysteme” (the “Unauthorized Marks”) for the treatment of sports and podiatry injuries. Zimmer alleges Defendants have also used a “Z” logo to promote and advertise their goods and services.

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Saeilo-BlogPhoto-300x92Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Saeilo Enterprises, Inc. (“Saeilo”) of Greeley, Pennsylvania, filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendants, Salient Arms International, Inc. and Archon Firearms, Inc., both of Las Vegas, Nevada, infringed its rights in its United States Trademark Registration for ISRAEL MILITARY INDUSTRIES and the design of the Desert Eagle (the “Registered Marks”). Saeilo is seeking injunctive relief, statutory damages, and attorneys’ fees.

Saeilo claims it owns federal trademarks for ISRAEL MILITARY INDUSTRIES and the name, shape, and design of the Desert Eagle. Saeilo further claims its Desert Eagle design is world famous and therefore it has common law trademark rights in the Desert Eagle shape and design. According to the complaint, Saeilo generates significant revenue from licensing its trademarks and designs.

The complaint alleges Defendants manufacture and sell miniature and full-size firearms. Saeilo alleges Defendants displayed for sale and sold a miniature Desert Eagle handgun while attending the Shot Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Subsequently, it is alleged Defendants advertised the miniature Desert Eagle on their website. Saeilo is seeking damages for trademark infringement as it claims Defendants have violated 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114(1) and 1125(a) and (c).

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Wyliepalooza Ice Cream Emporium, LLC (“Wyliepalooza”) of Indianapolis, Indiana, filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendants, B.A.M. Sweets, LLC d/b/a Wylie’s of Brownsburg, Indiana, Amanda R. Johnson, and Stephen B. Johnson infringed multiple common law trademarks utilized by Wyliepalooza. Wyliepalooza is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions, profits, actual damages, costs and attorney’s fees, investigatory fees, and any further relief the court deems appropriate.Untitled

According to the Complaint, Wyliepalooza opened its ice cream shops in Indianapolis in 2013 and began operating its ice cream truck in Indianapolis since May 2014. Wyliepalooza claims its common law trademarks include “WYLIE, WYLIEPALOOZA, WYLIEPALOOZA ICE CREAM EMPORIUM and WYLIEPALOOZA ICE CREAM TRUCK” (collectively, the “Wyliepalooza Trademarks”). Wyliepalooza claims its trademarks are immediately identifying within Indianapolis as it has utilized the Wyliepalooza Trademarks throughout the area to advertise and promote its goods and services.

Wyliepalooza claims Defendants, Amanda Johnson and Stephen Johnson (the “Johnsons”), entered into an asset purchase agreement for Wyliepalooza’s ice cream shop in Brownsburg, Indiana in December 2016. With this agreement, Wyliepalooza alleges the assets sold to the Johnsons did not include the Wyliepalooza Trademarks, but gave them a limited right to use “Wyliepalooza Ice Cream Emporium Brownsburg” at that specific location. Wyliepalooza further claims that the agreement had a clause giving Wyliepalooza the right to revoke the limited use of the name if the Brownsburg location received twenty bad reviews in one quarter or the Johnsons operated the business not within the spirit of the Wyliepalooza business model. According to the Complaint, the agreement was intended to be paid off within three years at which time the Johnsons would change the name of the location to “BAM Sweets.”

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The United States Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of Mission Product Holdings, Inc. (“Mission”)BlogPhoto versus Tempnology, LLC. The original case involved a trademark licensing agreement and whether the Tempnology’s rejection of the agreement during its bankruptcy deprived Mission’s right to use the trademark under the agreement. Justice Kagan delivered the opinion.

Tempnology utilized the brand name “Coolcore” for its manufactured clothing designed to stay cool during exercise. Mission and Tempnology entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement for Mission to use the Coolcore trademarks anywhere in the world in 2012. While the agreement would have expired in July 2016, Tempnology filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2015. Soon after, Tempnology asked for permission to “reject” the licensing agreement it had with Mission under Section 365(a). 11 U.S.C. § 365(a). Pursuant to Section 365 of the Bankruptcy Code, a debtor may reject any contract that neither party has finished performing. That rejection under Section 365 “constitutes a breach of such contract.” 11 U.S.C. § 365(a).

Both parties agreed that Mission has a claim for damages against Tempnology, however, under 365(g), Mission would be in the same boat as an unsecured creditor and would likely not receive its total damages. Tempnology also believed by rejecting the licensing agreement, Mission would no longer be able to utilize the Coolcore trademarks.

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This case, originally filed by Barrington Music Products, Inc. in the Northern District of Indiana, was brought on appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. After the Northern District awarded Barrington a mere $3,228.00 in damages, Barrington filed aVento-photo-300x120 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e) motion asking the court to amend the damages awarded to $4,947,200.00. The Northern District denied the 59(e) motion and the Court of Appeals affirmed.

Barrington’s attorney, Sean Quinn, frequently appears before the Northern District of Indiana for intellectual property infringement litigation cases such as this one. In this case, Guitar Center, Music & Arts, and Woodwind were each named as separate defendants. The jury found the sales by Guitar Center Ventus-Photo2were the only infringing sales and awarded the $3,228.00 accordingly.

After the case concluded, Barrington claims it discovered Music & Arts and Woodwind were divisions of Guitar Center and not distinct and separate entities. The Court of Appeals found that the judgment was rationally supported by the evidence and that there is no reason to conclude that the damages awarded would have been different had Guitar Center been the sole defendant. In support of this finding, the Court of Appeals pointed out that the original damages were awarded because the jury did not find that Music & Arts and Woodwind infringed on the “Ventus” mark.

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