Indianapolis, Ind. — Trademark lawyers for American Professional Nursing Resources, LLC (“APNR”) and Doyle Silvers (“Silvers”) of La Fontaine, Ind. sued Medical Staffing Worldwide, LLC (“MSW”) of Marion, Ind. et al. for use of APNR’s trademark and trade secrets; for breach of contract and fiduciary duty; for tortious interference with contracts and for violation of § 43(a) of the Lanham Act.
In March 2004, Silvers formed APNR, a global recruitment company that assists domestic employers in recruiting foreign medical professionals by providing domestic screening, training tools and foreign processing facilities. APNR and Silvers recruited Larry Myers (“Myers”), Tom Reto (“Reto”), Jon Marler (“Marler”), Dan Hasslinger (“Hasslinger”) and James Greg Bowers (“Bowers”) to develop APNR into a fully operational business. Benny Spensieri (“Spensieri”), who signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement (“NDA”), was also recruited. Myers, Reto, Marler, Hasslinger, Bowers and Spensieri agreed to maintain the secrecy of APNR’s confidential, proprietary and trade-secret information.
Silvers provided Myers, Reto, Marler, Hasslinger, Bowers and Spensieri with confidential, proprietary and trade-secret information of APNR including its business plan, business model, financial information, and methods and techniques for global recruitment, immigration, screening and training of foreign medical professionals.
In the summer of 2012, Myers, Reto, Marler, Hasslinger, and Bowers reserved the business name “Medical Staffing Worldwide, LLC.” Using that name, they formed a company that allegedly had the same business plan, business model and financial projections as APNR and that used identical methods and techniques for global recruitment, immigration, screening, and training of foreign medical professionals as APNR. MSW also began using APNR’s trademark, “The Future of Medical Staffing,” which APNR had used since 2005.
APNR and Silvers filed suit alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference with contracts and violation of § 43(a) of the Lanham Act. They ask for actual, consequential and punitive damages; attorneys’ fees; costs; and pre-judgment and post-judgment interest.
Practice Tip: Indiana considers non-compete agreements to be in restraint of trade and, thus, construes them narrowly. In other states, there has also been a growing trend, fueled in no small part by states’ difficulties in paying increasing unemployment benefits, to limit via legislation the enforceability of non-compete agreements. Among the states that have considered such limitations are Maryland, New Jersey, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Virginia.
Filed: March 28, 2013 as 3:2013cv00101 Updated: April 11, 2013 20:01:01
Plaintiffs: AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL NURSING RESOURCES, LLC and DOYLE SILVERS
Defendants: JAMES GREG BOWERS, DAN HASSLINGER, JON MARLER, MEDICAL STAFFING WORLDWIDE LLC, LARRY MYERS and others
Cause Of Action: Trademark Infringement (Lanham Act)