Indiana Copyright Litigation: Former School Employee Sues Alleging Copyright Infringement

Fort Wayne, Indiana – Plaintiff Angela Brooks-Nwenga of Fort Wayne, Indiana, acting pro se, filed two intellectual property lawsuits. The two complaints, comprising hundreds of pages, include allegations of copyright infringement.

Defendants in these lawsuits, both filed in the Northern District of Indiana, are National Heritage Academies, Inc. of Grand Rapids, Michigan and “Bart Peterson’s The Mind Trust” of Indianapolis, Indiana. Bart Peterson, the former mayor of Indianapolis, co-founded The Mind Trust in 2006.

Plaintiff Brooks-Nwenga alleges that Defendant National Heritage Academies infringed her rights in “Transitioning Into Responsible Students” (“TIRS”), which has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office under Registration No. TX-6-628-223. Plaintiff asserts that she developed and piloted this program at Gambold Middle School in 2002 and that she owns the copyright.

The second lawsuit makes similar allegations of copyright infringement of TIRS against Defendant Bart Peterson’s The Mind Trust. Plaintiff contends that “Andrew Brown Education Model” and “Bridges to Success Model” are replicas of her copyrighted work.

Brooks-Nwenga previously sued The Mind Trust, United Way of Central Indiana, Central Indiana Education Alliance, Phalen Leadership Academies, and Indianapolis Public Schools asserting similar misconduct. That lawsuit, also filed in the Northern District of Indiana, was transferred to the Southern District of Indiana.

Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, damages and costs.

Both cases were assigned to District Judge Philip P. Simon and Magistrate Judge Susan L. Collins in the Northern District of Indiana and assigned Case No. 1:16-cv-00183-PPS-SLC (National Heritage) and Case No. 1:16-cv-00193-PPS-SLC (Bart Peterson).

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