South Bend, Indiana – An intellectual property attorney for Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. of Feasterville, Pennsylvania sued in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Jeffrey M. Abbott individually and d/b/a Awesome Place Bar & Grill and Awesome Place Bar and Grill, LLC d/b/a Awesome Place Bar & Grill, all of Mishawaka, Indiana illegally intercepted and televised Ultimate Fighting Championship 145: Jon Jones v. Rashad Evans (“the Program”).
Joe Hand Promotions, a commercial distributor of sporting events, states that it was granted exclusive rights to distribute via closed-circuit telecast the Ultimate Fighting Championship (“UFC”) fight between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans, which Joe Hand Promotions asserts was broadcast nationwide on April 21, 2012.
In the complaint against Abbott and Awesome Place Bar and Grill, LLC, Joe Hand Promotions has alleged such wrongful acts as interception, reception, publication, divulgence, display, exhibition, and “tortuously” [sic] converting the Program.
In addition to naming the restaurant, Joe Hand Promotions has also sued both Awesome Place Bar and Grill, LLC and Abbott as an individual, claiming that Abbot had the right and ability to supervise the activities of Awesome Place Bar & Grill. Joe Hand Promotions asserts that those activities included the unlawful interception of its UFC Program.
Abbott, Awesome Place Bar and Grill, LLC, both allegedly doing business as Awesome Place Bar & Grill, have been accused of violating 47 U.S.C. § 605 and 47 U.S.C. § 553. The complaint, filed by a Kentucky intellectual property attorney, also lists a count of conversion. Joe Hand Promotions seeks statutory damages of $110,000 for each willful violation of 47 U.S.C. § 605; $60,000 for each willful violation of 47 U.S.C. § 553; compensatory and punitive damages on the claim of conversion; costs, including costs incurred for the service of process and the investigation of potential wrongdoing; and attorney’s fees.
Practice Tip #1: 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. As is typical with lawsuits initiated by Joe Hand Promotions, the complaint was filed almost exactly two years after April 21, 2012, the date of the alleged wrongdoing.
Practice Tip #2: Joe Hand Promotions is a frequent litigant and has brought many cases in Indiana in recent years against defendants alleged to have illegally intercepted and/or broadcast UFC fights. Indiana Intellectual Property Law News has previously blogged on the cases below:
The suit was filed by Charlie W. Gordon of Greene & Cooper LLP. The case was assigned to District Judge Theresa L. Springmann and Magistrate Judge John E. Martin of the Northern District of Indiana and assigned Case No. 3:14-cv-01420-TLS-JEM.