Articles Posted in Discovery

Indianapolis, IN – Copyright attorneys for DISH Network LLC of Englewood, Colorado, EchoStar Technologies LLC of Texas, and NagraStar LLC of Englewood, Colorado have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in the Southern District of Indianaalleging that Thomas Williams of Coal City, Indiana infringed DISH’s copyrighted works by illegal satellite signal interception.

The complaint gives a detailed, technical description of a “pirate IKS television service” called Dark Angel. Apparently the Dark Angel service allows subscribers to intercept the DISH service without paying the license and subscription fees to DISH. The complaint alleges that Mr. Williams purchased subscriptions to the Dark Angel service on April 9 and July 19, 2010. The complaint makes claims of “circumventing an access control measure” and receiving satellite signals without authorization, both in violation of the Digital Millennium Act as well as one count of intercepting satellite signals in violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

Practice Tip: The complaint states that DISH learned of Mr. Williams identity through discovery in a lawsuit DISH has filed against Dark Angel. It states that DISH seized all of Dark Angel’s business records and gleaned the names of the end users from these business records.

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South Bend, IN – The Northern District of Indiana has issued an order consolidating related trade secret, copyright infringement and patent infringement lawsuits a dispute between RV manufacturers, Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC of Elkhart, Indiana and Forest River, Inc. of Elkhart, Indiana. This order address five cases currently pending in Northern District of Indiana: 3:08-CV-490-JD-CAN, 3:09-CV-302-JD-CAN, 3:10-CV-011-JD-CAN, 3:10-CV-409-JD-CAN, and 3:11-cv-250-JD-CAN. In addition to Heartland and Forest River, Brian Brady, Catteron Partners and Thor Industries are also named in the suits.
The court found that three of the cases, 3:08-CV-490-JD-CAN, 3:09-CV-302-JD-CAN, and 3:10-CV-409-JD-CAN, involve Heartland’s acquisition of Forest River’s Master List. Since they involve similar questions, the court consolidated these three cases.
The court did not consolidate two of the cases. The court noted that 3:10-CV-011-JD-CAN is a copyright infringement case, where Forest River claims that Heartland infringed its “r.Pod” floor plan. The fifth case, 3:11-cv-250-JD-CAN, is a patent infringement case. In June. Patent lawyers for Heartland Recreational Vehicles, LLC of Elkhart, IndianaHeartland.jpg filed a patent infringement lawsuit alleging Forest River, Inc. of Elkhart, Indiana infringed Patent No. 7,878,545, Travel trailer having improved turning radius, which has been issued by the US Patent Office.
Indiana Intellectual Property Law and News blogged about the case here: Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC Sues Forest River Inc. for Patent Infringement of Travel Trailer Turning Radius. The court found that the patent infringement case should not be consolidated because it would likely create confusion and make the litigation more complex.
The court, however, ordered that discovery in all five of the cases be consolidated.

Practice Tip: Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a), common questions of law and fact are a prerequisite to the consolidation of cases

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Indianapolis, IN – The Southern District of Indiana has granted Draper, Inc’s of Spiceland, Indiana, motion for limited jurisdictional discovery in a patent infringement case. In November 2010, patent attorneys for Draper, Inc’s of Spiceland, Indiana filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that MechoShade Systems, Inc and Joel Berman Associates, Inc. of Long Island City, New York infringed patent no. 6,164,428, Wrap spring shade operator, which has been issued by the US Patent Office.

Joel Berman Associates has been dismissed from the suit at this point. MechoShade has filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. In response, Draper requested the Court stay ruling on the motion to dismiss and allow Draper.jpgDraper to conduct jurisdictional discovery. Although MechoShade appropriately responded to Draper’s initial discovery requests, it refused to comply with subsequent requests. The court, in this ruling, addressed whether Draper’s requests were appropriate for the limited purpose of the personal jurisdiction inquiry. The court ordered MechoShade to produce the following: documents showing sales communications contacts in Indiana, information showing all warranty and repair work performed in Indiana, summary of presentations given in Indiana, sales lead lists. However, the court determined that MechoShade did not have to produce Commission Reports and Booking Reports, general marketing material, and access to its intranet. The court gave MechoShade until February 24, 2012 to produce the documents it ordered. Further the court ordered that all briefing on the motion to dismiss should be complete by March 24, 2012.

Practice Tip: The court has ordered that MechoShade produce a number of these items as summaries with the accuracy of the summaries to be verified by oath or declaration.
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Evansville, INChief Judge Richard L. Young has affirmed Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann‘s discovery ruling that denied a request to inspect production facilities by Intertape Polymer Corp. of Bradenton, Florida, in a patent infringement lawsuit case. In May 2010, patent attorneys for BerryPlastics.jpgBerry Plastics Corporation of Evansville, Indiana filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleged that Intertape infringed patent no.7,476,416, Process for preparing adhesive using planetary extruder, which has been issued by the US Patent Office.

The patented technology is described as “a manufacturing process for preparing an adhesive using specifically modified planetary roller extruder.” Intertape had filed a motion to compel inspection of Berry’s production facilities, to observe the facilities in use and to perform tests on the goods produced during the inspection. Berry objected, and the issue was put before Magistrate Hussmann. The Magistrate denied Intertape’s request, finding that Intertape could use less intrusive methods to uncover the information it was seeking. Specifically, the Magistrate suggested that Intertape depose a Berry representative and pointed to video and photographs that Intertape already had.

Intertape filed objections to the Magistrate’s ruling, but Chief Judge Young affirmed, concluding “The Magistrate Judge balanced the interest of both parties, and came up with a fair and logical resolution for obtaining the information Intertape seeks.”

Practice Tip: This ruling addresses a discovery dispute. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37, a party must make a good faith attempt to resolve a discovery dispute before seeking a court order to compel.

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Lafayette, IN – According to a report from the Associated Press, Purdue University has released the name of a student Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for purdue-p.gifwho is accused of illegally downloading an adult film from a dorm room internet connection. Last month, Indiana Intellectual Property Law and News reported on Magistrate Judge Andrew Rodovich of the Northern District of Indiana ruling that denied a motion to quash the subpoena that sought Purdue’s disclosure of the student’s name and address.

This Purdue student is one of 2,000 internet subscribers that Third Degree Films, Inc. of California alleges have committed copyright infringement by illegally downloading adult videos. Third Degree did not know the identities of the persons who allegedly illegally downloaded the copyrighted work, but did have the internet protocol (I.P.) address. Third Degree has served subpoenas on internet services providers attempting to uncover the identities of the subscribers with the specified I.P. addresses. The underlying copyright infringement lawsuit was filed by copyright attorneys for Third Degree in the Northern District of California. Several similar copyright infringement cases are currently pending in Indiana district courts.

The Purdue student had filed a motion to quash the subpoena issued on Purdue, arguing that the subpoena sought confidential information and was burdensome.

Practice Tip: Typically in a case like this, once the identity of the I.P. subscriber is learned, the copyright attorneys for the film company will send a letter to the person seeking a settlement and threatening to sue the person if a settlement is not reached.
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Washington, D.C. – The Federal Circuit Advisory Counsel has unveiled a new model order for e-discovery in patent infringement cases. The model order is intended to assist litigants in patent cases in dealing with electronically stored information. The Counsel notes that e-discovery is often overbroad and expensive. The Counsel noted that the advancing technology and increased reliance upon it makes e-discovery often necessary. Text of the model order is below.

Practice Tip: The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which has appellate jurisdiction over the Southern District of Indiana and the Northern District of Indiana, has already an
“E-discovery” Pilot Program, which has the goal of “the early resolution of disputes regarding the discovery of electronically stored information (“ESI”) without Court intervention.”
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Lafayette, IN – Magistrate Judge Andrew Rodovich of the Northern District of Indiana has denied a Motion to Quash Subpoena served on Purdue University Thumbnail image for purdue-p.gifof Lafayette, Indiana by Third Degree Films, Inc. of California as part of a copyright infringement lawsuit in the Northern District of California. In its suit in the Northern District of California, copyright attorneys for Third Degree alleged that 2,010 John Does infringement an adult video called “Illegal Ass 2” without its consent in violation of its copyright. Third Degree did not know the identities of the persons who allegedly illegally downloaded the copyrighted work, but did have the internet protocol (I.P.) address. Third Degree has served subpoenas on internet services providers attempting to uncover the identities of the subscribers with the specified I.P. addresses. One of these John Does, John Doe 26, was a nineteen-year-old student at Purdue University. John Doe 26 filed a motion to quash the subpoena served on Purdue in the Northern District of Indiana.

John Doe 26 argued that the subpoena should be quashed because it seeks privileged information and also is unduly burdensome. The court disagreed. Citing similar cases, the Court found that John Doe 26 does not have standing to challenge the subpoena as unduly burdensome because John Doe 26 is not required to do anything to comply. Rather, it is the internet service provider upon whom a burden is imposed.

John Doe 26 repeatedly argued that there was a high risk that he did not illegally download the video at issue here. He argued he had this I.P. address at his dorm room at Purdue, and that there was a high risk that his roommate or another resident of the dormitory downloaded the infringing video. He also argued there was a high risk the information obtained through the subpoena would damage John Doe 26’s reputation. The court noted other courts have found that these arguments did not create a privilege justifying quashing the subpoena. The decision and issues here are similar to recent activity in the First Time Video case in the Southern District of Indiana.

Practice Tip: John Doe 26 states he filed this motion to quash in the Northern District of Indiana because the California District Court does not have jurisdiction over John Doe 26. John Doe 26 states California does not have jurisdiction because he has not been served with a complaint or summons and lacks personal jurisdiction. The court did not address jurisdiction in this order.
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New Albany, IN – Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann of the Southern District of Indiana has denied a Motion to Quash Subpoena filed by Defendant Doe No. 2 in First Time Video v. Indiana John Does 1-18. A copyright infringement attorney had filed a motion to quash subpoena on behalf of John Doe Number 2. Copyright lawyers for First Time Video did not know the names and addresses of the person who allegedly committed copyright infringement by downloading adult videosThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for BitTorrentPicture.JPG and had named 18 “John Does” when the suit was filed. First Time Video then served subpoenas on the internet service providers seeking the names and addresses of certain IP addresses which were alleged to have downloaded the copyrighted works. John Doe 2’s copyright attorney argued that the internet service provider subpoena should be quashed because it sought protected information and the subpoena was unduly burdensome.

The court’s order denied the motion to quash, meaning the internet service providers can be expected to turn over the names and addresses of the subscribers with the IP addresses that First Time has identified. The court’s order also reveals that John Doe 2 claims to be a woman who denies downloading the adult video. While denying the motion to quash, the Court made a very interesting notation at the end of the order:

The Magistrate Judge notes Doe No. 2’s concerns that the disclosure of her identity can lead to unwarranted embarrassing public disclosures, extortion-like attempts to force settlements, or lawsuits brought against defendants who have no liability. Those concerns are not far-fetched. However, the Rules of Professional Responsibility and Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure stand as barriers to such conduct. Plaintiff’s attorneys are admonished to carefully consider these rules before determining what use to make of the information garnered from the Subpoena.

This case was previously blogged about by Indiana Intellectual Property Law News when it was filed. This is one of three suits currently pending in the Southern District of Indiana that are copyright infringement suits alleging infringement of adult videos by Indiana John Does using the BitTorrent“distribution protocol”.

Practice Tip: Pursuant Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45(c)(3), the Court could quash a subpoena if it requests protected information or if it is unduly burdensome. The court here noted “there is no expectation of privacy in Internet subscriber information because it has already been exposed to a third party, the Internet Service Provider.” Regarding the undue burden argument, the court noted “Courts that have addressed this issue have concluded that the issuance of a subpoena to the Internet Service Provider of putative defendants does not create an undue burden on the putative defendants because they are not required to produce anything.”

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Indianapolis, IN – Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch of the Southern District of Indiana has issued a decision in a discovery dispute in a copyright infringement lawsuit. Intellectual property attorneys for Kevin B. McCarthy of Indianapolis, Indiana, Albert H. Langsenkamp, Carmel, Indiana and BVM Foundation, Inc. of Batesville, Indiana had filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana making several claims against that Patricia Ann Fuller, also known as Sister Joseph Therese of Fostoria, Ohio and John Doe of Ohio. Ms. Fuller apparently has counterclaimed claiming trademark and copyright ownership of the copyrighted work OUR LADY OF AMERICA. Ms. Fuller apparently operates the website www.ourladyofamerica.com.

The Our Lady of America copyrighted works are drawings and statutes based upon a nun’s visions of the Virgin Mary that began in the 1950s. According to the complaint filed in the case, Ms. Fuller claims she owns the copyright to one of theOurLadyofAmerica.jpg Our Lady of America statute and the parties dispute the ownership. The plaintiffs disagree and believe Ms. Fuller is making numerous misrepresentations regarding the works and is fraudulently representing herself as the owner of the works and marks. In the original complaint, the plaintiffs made claims of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud, deception, theft, criminal conversion, and civil conspiracy. It appears that Ms. Fuller is claiming copyright and/or trademark rights to the images and statutes. The court’s discovery orders require her to disclose information such as “how the representation of the Virgin Mary was being used as a trademark in 1960.

Practice Tip: It appears that Ms. Fuller provided vague answers to numerous interrogatories sent to her. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(e)(1)(A) requires parties to supplement their answers to discovery questions when the party learns that an answer provided is incomplete or incorrect.
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