Indianapolis, IN – This week Senior Judge Larry J. McKinney of the Southern District of Indiana is presiding over a jury trial of a copyright infringement lawsuit. The case is Harvest Scents & Traders LLC v. KMI International Corporation. The trial began on Monday, May 2, continued through last week, and resumed on Monday. According to the latest information available on PACER, the trial continues today.
Copyright attorneys for Harvest Scents, of Indianapolis, filed this copyright infringement lawsuit in March 2008. The complaint alleges that KMI, an Illinois company, has sold and distributed products that contained material that Harvest Scents has copyrighted. There are six works at issue that registered by the US Copyright Office:
Willow Tree, registration number VA 1-380-918
Primitive Pear Collection, registration number VA 1-421-622
Primitive Wood Button Collection, registration number VA 1-421-623
Baskets-n-Berries Collection, registration number VA 1-424-839
Homespun Collection, registration number VA 1-421-620
Roughsawn Collection, registration number VA 1-424-205
The trial began following several recent rulings on evidentiary matters by Judge McKinney. On February 28, 2011, Judge McKinney denied KMI’s motion in limine to preclude Harvest Scents from introducing evidence at trial of its products that it had not deposited with the US Copyright Office when it submitted its copyright application. KMI had argued that “the introduction of this evidence will invite the jury to find that KMI infringed on unregistered derivative works, unduly prejudicing KMI because Harvest Scents may not bring suit based on infringement of unregistered works, 17 U.S.C. § 411.” The court rejected this argument and allowed the evidence at trial. The court explained, “Direct copying of the registered work is not necessary to infringe, so long as the protected elements are copied. See JCW Invs., Inc. v. Novelty Inc., 482 F.3d 910, 914 (7th Cir. 2007) (noting that the elements of infringement include “copying of constituent elements”); see also KnowledgeAZ, Inc., 617 F. Supp. 2d at 789.” This ruling is available here.
Judge McKinney heard arguments on the proposed jury instructions on May 2, 2011. KMI objected to a proposed instruction regarding validity, but the court overruled that objection.
Further information about the case is as follows:
Filed: March 19, 2008 as 1:2008cv00361 Updated: March 3, 2011 04:33:00
Plaintiff: HARVEST SCENTS & TRADERS, LLC
Defendant: KMI INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION
Presiding Judge:Judge Larry J. McKinney
Referring Judge:Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker
Cause Of Action: Federal Question