Indiana Intellectual Property Litigation: Former Employee of Sign Company Accused of Unfair Competition

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Hammond, Indiana – An Indiana attorney for Plaintiff Landmark Signs, Inc. of Chesterton, Indiana filed an intellectual property lawsuit in the Northern District of Indiana.

Plaintiff Landmark states that it has been designing, fabricating, installing, and repairing signs throughout the U.S. for over thirty years. It claims to use at least two trademarks in connection with its business: a “Landmark” trademark, which it claims to have used at least as early as October 1983, and a stylized “Landmark Sign Group” trademark, which it claims to have used at least as early as March 1, 1999.

Landmark states that it holds various trademark rights, including federal trademark Registration No. 2,932,838, which was issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as well as state registrations issued by Indiana and Illinois. Landmark also has a pending federal trademark application for “Landmark Sign Group” that seeks intellectual property protection for the mark in connection with services not listed in its currently registered federal trademark.

Defendants in this federal litigation are I C U Outdoor Advertising LLC (“ICU”) and ICU’s owner Lawrence Yurko, both of Valparaiso, Indiana. Yurko is a former employee of Landmark. He and ICU are accused of various violations of federal and Indiana state law, including trademark infringement, deceptive trade practices and using Yurko’s position at Landmark to advance the interests of ICU.

This lawsuit, filed by an Indiana lawyer for Landmark, lists the following claims:

• Count I: Federal Unfair Competition in Violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)(l)(A)
• Count II: Federal Unfair Competition in Violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)(l)(B)
• Count III: Breach of Fiduciary Duty
• Count IV: Indiana Unfair Competition and Tortious Interference with a Business Relationship
• Count V: Tortious Interference with a Prospective Economic Advantage
• Count VI: Illinois Deceptive Trade Practices
• Count VII: Federal Trademark Infringement

• Count VIII: Indiana and Illinois Trademark Infringement

Landmark seeks equitable relief, damages, including punitive damages, costs and attorneys’ fees.

This litigation was filed in the Northern District of Indiana, designated as Case No. 2:16-cv-00128, but has not yet been assigned.

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