Articles Posted in INSD News

Indianapolis, Indiana – Defendant Circle City Broadcasting, LLC d/b/a WISH-TV, is being sued by Plaintiff Christopher Sadowski over alleged copyright infringement.  Sadowski is a photojournalist from New Jersey, who has been published in numerous popular newspapers and magazines. While he holds the licenses to his photographs, court documents explain that Sadowski allows entities to purchase a one-time-use license for themselves.

PhotoForBlog-300x206According to the complaint, in 2019, Sadowski created and copyrighted a photograph titled “062219garbagetruck4CS,” depicting the bustling streets of New York City.  In 2021, Circle City Broadcasting purportedly published Sadowski’s work on their website, without obtaining the necessary licensing. It is alleged that not only did they display the image without consent, but they also cropped out Sadowski’s copyright management information, potentially infringing upon his rights.

Despite Sadowski’s supposed attempts to resolve the matter amicably, Circle City Broadcasting purportedly failed to address the issue satisfactorily. Consequently, Sadowski pursued legal action to address the alleged willful infringement.

pic-300x169Baskin-Robbins Franchising LLC (“Baskin-Robbins”) v. Blue Moo Ice Cream Inc. (“Blue Moo”) is a breach of contract and trademark infringement suit involving Plaintiff Baskin-Robbins/BR IP Holder, a well-known franchisor in the ice cream industry, and Defendants Blu Moo Ice Cream Inc., and Robert Holocher.

According to the complaint, Baskin-Robbins entered into franchise agreements with Blu Moo Ice Cream Inc. for the operation of Baskin-Robbins franchises in the greater Indianapolis area. However, Baskin-Robbins claims the termination of the agreements ensued due to Blu Moo’s repeated failure to fulfill financial obligations to Baskin-Robbins, triggering a series of legal actions.

The crux of the case revolves around Blu Moo’s alleged unauthorized use of Baskin-Robbins’ intellectual property, including trademarks and trade dress, after the termination of franchise agreements. Baskin-Robbins claims to have given clear instructions to cease operations and de-identify the restaurants, but Blu Moo purportedly continued to operate, sparking Baskin-Robbins’ claim of irreparable harm to their brand reputation and goodwill.

Plaintiff Excelencia Importing Pty Ltd. d/b/a Kennels & Kats (“K&K”) brought forth a complaint against Defendant Jinping Leng d/b/a Delomo (“Defendant”). The core allegation was that the Defendant, through inequitable conduct, obtained U.S. Patent No. D827,946 for a “Pet Grooming Glove,” a design that was allegedly already in circulation in the United States before the patent application. The complaint contended that the Defendant deliberately failed to disclose this information to the USPTO during the patent’s prosecution.

The legal action cPicture1-213x300laimed that the Defendant’s failure to disclose prior art during the patent prosecution process was intentional. K&K, an online retailer specializing in pet supply products, alleged that the Defendant was fully aware of the materiality of the omissions, which rendered the design in the Asserted Patent unpatentable. The complaint suggested that, had the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) been aware of this information, the patent would not have been granted.

The complaint further asserted that the Defendant, despite knowledge of the invalidity of the Asserted Patent, made false infringement claims to Amazon against K&K. This action resulted in the suspension of K&K’s Amazon listings, causing immediate harm to its business. The ramifications of such suspension on an online retailer’s revenue and reputation are substantial, especially given Amazon’s market dominance.

Pic-300x282In a recent legal action, California-based Plaintiff Secada Medical LLC, doing business as Ventris Medical, LLC, has filed a complaint against Defendant Nexxt Spine, LLC alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition under the federal Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1051 et seq.

Court documents state that Ventris has expertise in creating, promoting, and distributing advanced tissue and bone healing solutions tailored to meet the specific requirements of different surgical fields. Ventris claims to have actively advertised and sold items bearing the CONNEXT® brand for numerous years. They allege that Nexxt Spine, and Indiana company, is violating Ventris’ trademark by using a similar mark, CONNEXX, for their own surgical implant kits.

The crux of Ventris’ complaint lies in the similarity between the CONNEXT® mark and Nexxt Spine’s CONNEXX mark, with the only difference being the final letter (“T” vs. “X”). Ventris asserts that both marks are used in connection with highly related surgical products and are targeted at the same consumers within the medical community, thus increasing the likelihood of confusion among consumers regarding the source or affiliation of the products.

China – Plaintiff Guangzhou Shima Decoration Materials Co., Ltd. (Shima), a Chinese corporation specializing in home improvement items and building materials, has brought legal action against Shenzhen Ruimingxiang Technology Co., Ltd. (SRT) for alleged copyright infringement.

Shima, led by President Wentong Liu, claims it has carved a niche in designing and selling distinctive products. It goes onto explain that in 2004, Liu created a graphic work known as the “Diamond Tile,” a unique square or rectangular tile featuring a three-dimensional design composed of various diamond-like elements, which he had copyrighted with the United States Copyright Office in 2017.

According to the complaint, Shima is accusing SRT, another Chinese corporation (who happens to do business in Indiana), of importing, distributing, and/or selling copies of Liu’s “Diamond Tile” work on Shima alleges that SRT’s actions amount to willful infringement, resulting in substantial financial losses.

canelo-300x300Indianapolis, Indiana – Plaintiff G & G Closed Circuit Events, LLC, a California-based heavyweight in sports distribution, claims they owned exclusive distribution rights to the . They have brought suit against Defendant La Jalisco LLP, the owner and operator of a commercial restaurant and bar in Indianapolis, accusing them of illicitly showcasing the coveted Program.

Title 47 U.S.C. Section 605(a) specifically “prohibits the unauthorized interception, receipt, publication and use of communications, including satellite television signals.” G & G contends that La Jalisco LLP violated this law by knowingly and willfully advertising the viewing event on Facebook, intercepting the signal, and exhibiting the unauthorized Program within their establishment.

G & G is seeking statutory damages, claiming willful violations for commercial advantage. They seek an amount for each violation, alongside recovery of full costs and attorneys’ fees. In addition, Plaintiffs are asking for compensatory, exemplary, and punitive damages.

In the modern era of technological advancements and the burgeoning landscape of online commerce, the interconnection of patent law with the dynamics of e-commerce platforms presents intricate challenges. A recent legal dispute between Wenzhou Xin Xin Sanitary Ware Co., Ltd. (“Sanitary Ware” or “Plaintiff”) and Delta Faucet Company (“DFC”) illuminates the complexities faced by international entities selling products on major online platforms like Amazon, particularly concerning allegations of patent infringement.

PatentPhoto-300x264According to the complaint, Sanitary Ware, a Chinese-based company operating as “HGN Sanitary Ware,” sells kitchen appliances and accessories, including glass rinsers, primarily through the Amazon Marketplace. Court documents also describe DFC, as an American plumbing fixture manufacturer under Masco Corporation, who is alleging patent infringement of its U.S. Patent No. 11,473,277 (“the ‘277 Patent”) against specific Xin Glass Rinsers listed by Sanitary Ware on Amazon.

DFC claims ‘277 Patent details a rinsing apparatus comprising components like a mounting base, fluid discharge member, valve member, and escutcheon. DFC says they initiated an Amazon Patent Evaluation Express (“APEX”) proceeding against Sanitary Ware’s Xin Glass Rinser based on claim 1 of the ‘277 Patent, and Sanitary Ware chose not to participate in the APEX, leading Amazon to remove the listing of the disputed Xin Glass Rinser.

In the contempoSpaceJam-209x300rary digital landscape, the protection of intellectual property, especially in the realm of creative works, has become a paramount concern. Copyright infringement, the unauthorized use or reproduction of copyrighted material, continues to pose significant challenges for creators and rights holders. A recent case involving Plaintiff Watson Music Group, LLC. d/b/a Quadrasound Music and Defendant Borshoff, Inc. sheds light on the complexities and legalities surrounding copyright infringement in the digital sphere.

Plaintiff Watson Music Group, a Florida-based limited liability company, alleges that Defendant Borshoff, Inc., an Indiana corporation, infringed upon its copyrighted musical work titled “Space Jam.” The alleged infringement occurred on Defendant’s social media account ‘@borshofftalks’ hosted on Facebook.

The complaint describes an unauthorized posting of a discernable excerpt of the Plaintiff’s copyrighted musical work on the Defendant’s Facebook account. The Plaintiff asserts that the Defendant, without obtaining proper permission or authorization, reproduced, stored, and made available the copyrighted material for public performance via a digital audio transmission, thereby violating the Plaintiff’s exclusive rights as a copyright holder.

A recent lawsuit, Stross v. Tiny Timbers, involves a copyright infringement dispute between Alexander Bayonne Stross, a photographer and owner of copyrighted works, and Homestead Properties, Inc. dba Tiny Timbers, a hardwood products manufacturer. Stross alleges that Tiny Timbers unlawfully used his copyrighted photograph for advertising and promotional purposes on Homestead Properties’ website without his authorization.Pic-300x197

Stross has filed a complaint against Tiny Timbers citing violations of the Copyright Act, specifically alleging unauthorized copying, distribution, and removal of copyright identification. He asserts that his work was registered with the Copyright Office and contains identifiable copyright management information, which was removed by Tiny Timbers when they allegedly used the image without permission.

Seeking recourse, Stross pursues both injunctive relief to prevent further infringement claims and monetary damages or profits resulting from the alleged unauthorized use of his copyrighted work. Additionally, he requests attorney’s fees and other remedies provided for under the Copyright Act.

Defendants in trademark infringement case, HealthSmart Foods, Inc. v. Sweet Nothings, Inc. and Beth Porter have initiated a Motion to Dismiss based on lack of personal jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) and failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6). Additionally, they have requested the case be transferred to the Northern District of California.

Pic-3-300x223The dispute before Indiana Judge Matthew P. Brookman involves the use of the trademark SWEET NOTHINGS. In the midst of the case, Defendant Beth Porter initiated a separate lawsuit in California against HealthSmart, claiming fraud and unfair competition. Defendants argue that the defenses in the Indiana case overlap with Ms. Porter’s claims in the California case, indicating evidence and witness overlap as grounds for the case to be transferred.  However, after careful consideration, the Court DENIED the Defendants’ request to transfer the Indiana case to the Northern District of California.

As for the Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction, the judge stated that the issue revolves around whether Defendants’ contacts with Indiana justify personal jurisdiction. Defendants conceded that Sweet Nothings has minimum contacts with Indiana, but the parties disputed the significance of these contacts, the consideration of third-party retailer contacts, and whether exercising jurisdiction aligns with fair play and substantial justice.  The Plaintiff argued that Sweet Nothing’s website, offering shipping options to Indiana, actively engaging with Indiana consumers, and facilitating sales through Amazon to Indiana residents, demonstrates purposeful conduct directed towards the Indiana market.  Judge Brookman agreed with the Plaintiff and DENIED the Motion to Dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.

Contact Information