J & J Sports Sues Juan Aguirre and Mi Pueblo V Mexican Restaurant for Unauthorized Interception and Broadcast of Championship Fight

South Bend, Ind. — Intellectual property lawyers for J & J Sports Productions, Inc. of Campbell, Calif. sued Juan M. Aguirre (“Aguirre”) and Mi Pueblo V Mexican Restaurant of Wabash, Ind. (“Mi Pueblo”) alleging the illegal interception and display of a pay-per-view championship fight.

J & J Sports, the exclusive domestic commercial distributor of Ultimate Fighting Championship 131: Junior Dos Santos v. Shane Carwin, (the “program”) has sued Mi Pueblo and Aguirre, an officer of the restaurant, under the Communications Act of 1934 and The Cable & Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992. 

The defendants have been accused of violating 47 U.S.C. § 605 and 47 U.S.C. § 553Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for J&J.JPG by displaying the program on June 11, 2011 without a commercial license.  Regarding the claim under 47 U.S.C. § 605, the complaint alleges that with “full knowledge that the Program was not to be intercepted, received, published, divulged, displayed, and/or exhibited by commercial entities unauthorized to do so, each and every one of the above named Defendants . . . did unlawfully intercept, receive, publish, divulge, display, and/or exhibit the Program” for the purpose of commercial advantage and/or private financial gain.  The allegation of interception under 47 U.S.C. § 605 is a different cause of action from copyright infringement. That claim has a two-year statute of limitations, which explains why the complaints were filed on June 11, 2013.

A count of conversion is also included which asserts that the acts of the Mi Pueblo and Aguirre were “willful, malicious, egregious, and intentionally designed to harm Plaintiff J & J Sports” and that, as a result of being deprived of their commercial license fee, J & J Sports suffered “severe economic distress and great financial loss.”

The complaint seeks statutory damages of $100,000 for each violation of 47 U.S.C. § 605; $10,000 for each violation of 47 U.S.C. § 553; $50,000 for each willful violation of 47 U.S.C. § 553; costs and attorney fees.

Practice Tip #1: The body of the complaint listed a second individual defendant, Loida Chavarria, in paragraph 10 but she was not listed in the caption as a party.  The reason for this disparity was unclear from reading the complaint itself.  However, a review of another recent complaint filed by this attorney on behalf of J & J Sports (see here), in which J & J Sports sued an Indianapolis night club with nearly identical allegations, reveals that Ms. Chavarria was listed there, in paragraph 10, as a defendant.  It appears that J & J Sports, which filed 708 lawsuits in 2011, neglected to remove her from a complaint template that had previously been filled in with a different set of defendants. 

Practice Tip #2: This lawsuit was filed on the two-year anniversary of the program that the defendants are alleged to have illegally broadcast.  When Congress passed the Cable Communication Act, a statute of limitations was not included.  Some federal courts have determined that a two-year statute of limitation is appropriate while other federal courts have used a three-year statute of limitations.

We have blogged before about J & J Sports here, here and here.

Overhauser Law Offices, the publisher of this website, has represented several hundred persons and businesses accused of infringing satellite signals.

This case has been assigned to The Honorable Judge Rudy Lozano and Magistrate Judge Christopher A. Nuechterlein, and assigned Case No. 3:13-cv-00571-RL-CAN.

Complaint-J and J Sports Productions, Inc.pdf

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