Articles Posted in Default Judgment

Indianapolis, Indiana – Judge Richard L. Young in the Southern District of Indiana granted default judgment in favor of Engineered by Schildmeier, LLC (“Engineered”) and against WUHU Xuelang Auto Parts Co., LTD and Amazing Parts Warehouse (collectively the “Defendants”). Engineered filed suit seeking a declaratory judgment of both patent and trade dress infringement in late 2018. The patentEngineered-BlogPhoto-300x254 allegedly infringed in the complaint is United States Patent No. D 816,584 (the “‘584 Patent”) for a “Pair of Bed Rail Stake Pocket Covers”.

When a defendant fails to plead or defend a case against them within the allotted time frame, they are in default. A plaintiff may motion the court for a default judgment, which is a binding judgment of the court for failure of the defendant to answer the allegations. The court can then grant a default judgment. If a proof of damages hearing is necessary, the judge can order such a hearing, but the defendant may not appear at that point to defend the amount of damages asserted by the plaintiff. A default judgment may be set aside upon request of the defendant, but they must show a good defense and legitimate excuse as to why they were in default to the court.

In this case, neither of the Defendants plead or otherwise defended themselves against the allegations set forth in Engineered’s complaint. As such, the court granted Engineered’s motion for default judgment and awarded damages accordingly. First, the Court found that the Defendants infringed the ‘584 Patent. Second, the Court found the Defendants violated Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act by infringing Engineered’s trade dress. Third, the Defendants were enjoined from importing, selling, or offering for sale any imitations of the ‘584 Patent. Finally, Engineered was awarded a total of $1,424,070.00. The damages award was calculated by adding $470,020.00 in lost profits; $940,040.00 in treble damages for willful infringement; $13,610.00 in attorneys’ fees; and $400.00 in court costs. By failing to appear and defend themselves, not only will defendants have default judgments granted against them, but as shown in this case, extremely large damages may also be imposed.

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JoeHand-BlogPhoto-1-300x100Indianapolis, Indiana – In April of 2018, Attorneys for Plaintiff, Joe Hand Promotions, Inc., of Feasterville, Pennsylvania, filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendants, The Anchor Lounge, LLC, d/b/a The Anchor Lounge, of Muncie, Indiana, and Randy Phillips, an individual residing in Delaware County, Indiana, infringed its rights in the “Ultimate Fighting Championship® 207: Nunes v. Rousey” (the “Program”). Plaintiff sought statutory damages, attorney’s fees, interest, and cost of suit. On October 25, 2018, the court entered default judgment in the Plaintiff’s favor.

Joe Hand is in the business of licensing and distributing pay-per-view sporting events to commercial locations. In their Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of their default motion, they claim that Defendants realized a profit of $1,155.00 by not paying the approximate licensing fee they would have paid if they had contracted with Joe Hand. Plaintiffs have filed multiple lawsuits in Indiana and across the nation against commercial establishments that have not contracted with them to exhibit pay-per-view programs, such as the Program in this case, seeking damages under 47 U.S.C. §§ 553 and 605.

While Plaintiff has received default judgments in two separate cases in Indiana this week, the Southern and Northern District Courts awarded the damages in two different manners. For instance, the Southern District in this case awarded Joe Hand the full requested amount of $41,570.00. The Judge in the Northern District, however, parsed out the specific amounts due under the statutes and reduced the award amount requested by more than half. This shows that judges are able to use their discretion in awarding damages and do not have to award the full amount requested just because the defendant did not appear, but they may if they believe the amount requested is sufficient.

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