U.S. Supreme Court–Frederick Allen (“Allen”) was hired as a videographer to document the recovery of the Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck off the North Carolina coast. Allen worked to document the recovery for over a decade and registered copyrights for his works. When North Carolina published some of Allen’s work online, Allen sued for copyright infringement. North Carolina moved to dismiss the lawsuit on the ground of state sovereign immunity; while Allen argued the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act of 1990 (“CRCA”) removed the States’ sovereign immunity.

The District Court agreed with Allen while the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in favor of North Carolina on March 23, 2020.

Sovereign immunity has recently been the basis for granting summary judgment in several recent copyright cases in the Southern District of Indiana, namely at least Richard N. Bell v. Jay L. Hess, Case No. 1:16-cv-02463-TWP-DML, (S.D. Ind. March 9, 2018) and Richard N. Bell v. Jason Henderson, Case No. 1:16-cv-02488-RLY-DML, (S.D. Ind. July 23, 2018).

Hammond, Indiana – Sundance Botanicals, LLC (“Sundance”), the Plaintiff, allegedly sells and distributes elderberry syrups bearing the mark “ELDERPOWER.” The ELDERPOWER mark was registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office under U.S. Registration No. 5,821,635 for “Immune boosting nutritional supplements made from elderberries and organic ingredients” in 2019.

According to the Complaint, The Power of Elderberries, LLC (“Defendant”) markets and sells elderberry syrup with the mark “THE POWER OF ELDERBERRIES.” Sundance claims Defendant knew of the ELDERPOWER mark prior to adopting its mark and adopted the design elements and name for its elderberry syrup bottles in bad faith “to infringe and pray on Sundance’s goodwill.” The Defendant filed a U.S. trademark application for its mark in June 2019. Sundance then opposed the registration of the Defendant’s mark in February 2020. Opposition No. 91,253,891 is currently suspended pending the outcome of this civil suit.

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The U.S. Patent Office issued the following 245 patent registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in June 2020, based on applications filed by Indiana patent attorneys:

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.

Patent No. Title
RE048069 Fire-fighting monitor with remote control
D0888670 Cable connectors
D0888611 Buckle cover
D0888536 Compact electronic lock
   10,698,429 Electronic user interface for electronic mixing of water for residential faucets
   10,697,701 Method and apparatus to prevent electronic device screen damage

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The U.S. Trademark Office issued the following 159 trademark registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in June 2020 based on applications filed by Indiana trademark attorneys:

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

Reg. Number Word Mark
6079502 VERA BRADLEY
6074510 SOLARBAG
6081975 DRAKE’S CARWASH
6087506 GROUND FREIGHT SOLUTIONS
6085844 GO WITH EXPERIENCE. GO WITH GERLING.
6085713 CALZBONE

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Indianapolis, Indiana –Boiling Crab Franchise Co., LLC (“The Boiling Crab”), the Plaintiff, filed two separate complaints for trademark infringement and unfair competition alleging similar facts. The first complaint was filed against Defendant The Mad Crab LLC d/b/a The Boiling Crab, Crawfish & Shrimp (“The Mad Crab”). The second complaint was filed against CC Food Enterprise LLC and KC Groups Inc. (collectively “The Boiling Seafood”). According to the complaints, The Boiling Crab owns four relevant U.S. trademarks for “The Boiling Crab” in various styles with Registration Nos. 3,256,219, 4,174,077, 4,491,054, and 5,374,534.

The Boiling Crab franchise, started in California in 2004, has allegedly grown to include locations throughout California and at least four other states. According to the complaints, the Louisiana-style seafood served by The Boiling Crab and the distinctive restaurant décor and menus create a one-of-a-kind dining experience. The Boiling Crab also claims unique trade dress rights in the look and feel of its restaurants.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – KS Equity Company, LLC (“KS”), the Plaintiff, operates a convenience store, Leo’s Market and Eatery (the “Leo’s Store”) in Indianapolis, Indiana. KS claims to own and use the following U.S. Trademark Reg. Nos. 5886802, 5886803, 5892871, and 5962680 (collectively, “Leo’s Trademarks”) in connection with the Leo’s Store. According to the Complaint, KS has also developed trade dress in the unique design elements of the Leo’s Store (“Leo’s Trade Dress”).

KS claims Defendants, RSM Investments LLC, Raghbir Singh, Pushpinder Singh, York Multani, and York Singh (collectively, “Defendants”), operate a convenience store or gas station called Leon’s in Indianapolis, Indiana (the “Leon’s Store”). Per the Complaint, the Leon’s Store is located approximately 22 miles away from the Leo’s Store and uses a confusingly similar name and logo compared to the Leo’s Trademarks. The brand of fuel sold in connection with each store, Marathon, allegedly exacerbates the potential customer confusion between the two stores.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Appellants, GS CleanTech Corporation and Greenshift Corporation (collectively “CleanTech”), appealed the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana’s finding that U.S. Patent Nos. 7,601,858 (the “‘858 patent”), 8,008,516 (the “‘516 patent”), 8,008,517 (the “‘517 patent”), and 8,283,484 (the “‘484 patent”) (together, the “Patents-in-Suit”) are unenforceable due to inequitable conduct. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed.

Before joining CleanTech in 2006, David Cantrell founded Vortex Dehydration Technology (“VDT”). In June 2003, Mr. Cantrell sent an email to two Agri-Energy LLC (“Agri-Energy”) employees regarding how VDT’s oil recovery system may be applicable in an ethanol plant. He also included an operational cost spreadsheet and an image of the system. VDT representatives conducted tests with Agri-Energy’s ethanol syrup in early July 2003.

A proposal dated July 31, 2003 was emailed to multiple Agri-Energy employees on August 1, 2003 offering “Agri-Energy a No-Risk trial [of the] ‘Oil Recovery System.’” The proposal allowed Agri-Energy to use the unit for sixty days at which point it could purchase the system for $423,000 or return it to VDT. That proposal was not accepted, however, in early 2004 communications resumed and the system was installed in the Agri-Energy plant in May 2004.

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Lafayette, Indiana – Aaron Babcock (“Babcock”), the Plaintiff, claims to be a professional photographer in Lincoln, Nebraska. According to the complaint, Babcock photographed actor Bill Murray attending a Nebraska vs. Purdue football game (the “Photograph”). The Photograph was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office under Registration No. VA 2-126-687.

In the second of two lawsuits with identical parties, Babcock claims Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC (“Gannett”), the Defendant, ran four articles on its websites featuring the Photograph. Babcock first sued Gannett for copyright infringement of a different photograph in December 2019 in the Western District of Wisconsin. In this case, Gannett allegedly used the Photograph without a license or permission from Babcock. As such, Babcock is seeking damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees for copyright infringement.

The case was assigned to Chief District Judge Theresa Lazar Springmann and Magistrate Judge Joshua P. Kolar in the Northern District and assigned Case 4:20-cv-00023-TLS-JPK.

Lafayette, Indiana – Professional photographer and Plaintiff, Bryan Glynn, managing member of BG Pictures LLC, claims Defendant Cigar Cigar LLC (“Cigar Cigar”) displayed his photograph protected by U.S. Copyright No. VAu 1-271-409  on its website without his consent. Glynn claims Cigar Cigar’s actions amount to copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. §§ 106 and 501. Pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §§ 504 and 505, Glynn is seeking Cigar Cigar’s profits from the use of the photograph, statutory damages, and attorney’s fees.

The case was assigned to District Judge Theresa L. Springmann and Magistrate Judge Joshua P. Kolar in the Northern District and assigned Case 4:20-cv-00022.

1-Complaint

The U.S. Patent Office issued the following 180 patent registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in May 2020, based on applications filed by Indiana patent attorneys:

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.

Patent No. Title
1 RE048006 Base for an automatic injection device
2 PP031799 Buddleia plant named `PODARASNGA3` lindleyana)
3 PP031798 Buddleia plant named `PODARASNGA2` lindleyana)
4 PP031790 Shrub rose plant named `WEKchedowahor`
5 D0885578 Spinal implant
6 D0885512 Target media holder
7 D0885397 Computer mouse docking station
8 D0885111 Food warmer
9 10667439 Discrete power component assembly
10 10667110 System and method for using an electronic lock with a smartphone

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