Articles Posted in INSD News

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.

Las Vegcanelo-alvarez-vs-plant-full-fight-video-poster-2021-11-06-300x157as, NV – Plaintiff G & G Closed Circuit Events, LLC is attempting to safeguard their purported, exclusive distribution rights by suing Indianapolis, Indiana Defendants Susana Sanchez and La Casa De Los Mariscos Mexican Grill #2 LLC for the alleged unauthorized publication of a cable television program.

G&G’s argument states that they were granted the exclusive rights to the commercial distribution of the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez v. Caleb Plant Championship Fight Program that was broadcast on Saturday, November 6, 2021.  They further argue that because they have the exclusive rights, any commercial establishment wanting to show the fight had to purchase the license to do so, which the Mexican restaurant failed to do. Therefore, G & G has accused the Defendants of willfully intercepting, receiving, and publishing the fight without said authorization.

As a result, the Plaintiff is asking the court to find that Sanchez and La Casa De Los Mariscos Mexican Grill #2 is in violation of Title 47 U.S.C. Section 605, et seq., which prohibits the unauthorized interception, receipt, publication, and use of communications, including satellite television signals, such as the transmission of the Program in question.  In addition, G & G is seeking compensatory, exemplary, and punitive damages, along with costs and attorneys’ fees.

Photo-300x150Photojournalist David Hoffman, a UK resident, is suing Lauth Investigations International, an Indiana investigation firm, for allegedly infringing on a 2005 copyrighted photograph titled “Homeless Woman 1.” According to the Plaintiff, Lauth used the photo in an article without permission, cropping it and removing copyright information for commercial use. Despite Hoffman’s notification, no resolution was reached.

Hoffman seeks various remedies for copyright infringement, including a declaration of infringement, claims of willful infringement, compensation for damages, legal fees, and interest. The aim is to prevent further infringement and related activities by the Defendant.

The case has been assigned to Judge James Patrick Hanlon and Magistrate Judge M. Kendra Klump, in the U.S. District Court of Southern Indiana, and assigned Case No. 1:23-cv-01678-JPH-MKK.

Prairieville, LA – Plaintiff Taylor Shaye Designs LLC filed a complaint against Whitestown, IN Defendant Shein Distribution Corp for copyright infringement according to the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101, et seq.


“Let’s Go Girls” – Taylor Shaye Designs LLC


Let’s Go Girls – Shein Distribution Corp

Indianapolis, Indiana Delta-300x292– A lawsuit brought by Plaintiff Delta Faucet Company against Defendant Wenzhou Xin Xin Sanitary Ware Co., Ltd. involves an allegation of patent infringement over United States Patent No. 11,725,369.  Court documents state the patent at issue is for a “Vessel Rinsing Apparatus,” that was issued on August 15, 2023.

The Plaintiff claims the Defendant has been manufacturing, using, selling, and importing vessel rinsing apparatuses that are “functionally equivalent [to Delta’s products] and only differ in finish…,” thereby infringing upon Delta’s patent rights.  Delta further cites Wenzhou’s use of Amazon to sell the accused products and encourage others to infringe the patent, as well.

The lawsuit details Wenzhou’s alleged deliberate and willful infringement by continuing to sell the accused products even after notice of the patent in question. The Plaintiff is, therefore, seeking a court judgment in favor of Delta in the form of injunctions, damages, and legal fees.

Greenfield, Indiana – Plaintiffs Sherry Childers and Diana Polston, along with others, have filed a class-action lawsuit against Hancock Regional Hospital (Hancock Health) in Greenfield, Indiana. They accuse the hospital of disclosing their private medical information to third parties like Facebook and Google. The Plaintiffs argue that mishandling medical data can lead to severe consequences such as workplace discrimination and denial of insurance coverage. They stress the importance of maintaining medical information confidentiality to uphold public trust in the healthcare system.

HancockRegional-300x100The complaint cites the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), which includes the “Privacy Rule” established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This rule outlines guidelines for safeguarding individually identifiable health information and prohibits healthcare providers from sharing such data with third parties without explicit written consent from the individual.

Court documents claim that Hancock Health, a trusted healthcare provider, used a “Tracking Pixel” on its website to collect and transmit the Plaintiffs’ sensitive patient information to third parties without their knowledge. This alleged action is seen as a breach of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

Richmond, Indiana – In a recent legal case between Plaintiff, Vandor Group, Inc., and Defendant, Batesville Casket Company, Vandor sought a preliminary injunction against Batesville for alleged patent infringement concerning casket rental inserts. Vandor claimed that Batesville’s actions caused irreparable harm, impacting their expansion plans and profitability.

Photo-300x122In its decision-making process, the Court applied Federal Circuit Law, which outlines four factors for determining whether a preliminary injunction is warranted: “(1) the movant’s reasonable likelihood of success on the merits; (2) the irreparable harm the movant will suffer if preliminary relief is not granted; (3) the balance of hardships tipping in its favor; and (4) the adverse impact on the public interest.”

The court primarily focused on irreparable harm and the likelihood of success, noting that irreparable harm is assumed when patent validity and infringement are established. However, the defendant can rebut this presumption by presenting evidence to the contrary. The judge ruled that Vandor’s claims of irreparable harm, based on lost expansion opportunities, potential economic losses, and the pending expiration of patents, were speculative and lacked substantial supporting evidence. Emphasizing that general assertions of economic harm without specific evidence are insufficient to prove irreparable harm, the court dismissed Vandor’s argument about the limited duration of their patents as a basis for irreparable harm, based on established legal precedent.

New Jersey Plaintiff, Freedom Mortgage Corporation, has filed a complaint against New Albany, Indiana Defendant, Freedompoint, LLC, for claims of trademark infringement and related unfair competition in the home mortgage and refinancing field.

FreedomMortgage-300x103According to the complaint, the Plaintiff has owned and used several FREEDOM trademarks since December 1992, and its subsidiary (Roundpoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation) has owned and used ROUNDPOINT marks for the last 13 years. The trademarks that are at issue in the lawsuit are the FREEDOM MORTGAGE trademark (Reg. No. 4,631,944), the  FREEDOM MORTGAGE logo trademark (Reg. No. 4,631,946), the ROUNDPOINT trademark (Reg. No. 3,595,914), and ROUNDPOINT EXCHANGE (Reg. No. 5,172,847). According to Court documents, all the trademarks are specified for use in financial services, specifically the mortgage industry.

Freedom Mortgage alleges that the Defendant, Freedompoint, began using the word and design marks FREEDOMPOINT, FREEDOMPOINT MORTGAGE, and their FREEDOMPOINT logo as early as 2020. It is the Plaintiffs’ belief that the FREEDOMPOINT mark used by the Defendants in similar financial and mortgage services is a combination of its own FREEDOM MORTGAGE and ROUNDPOINT marks and, therefore, causes confusion among its customer bases.  Furthermore, the Plaintiffs’ contend that the Defendants previously knew about the FREEDOM marks owned by the Plaintiff and have refused to cease-and-desist from using the alleged Infringing Marks.

Crawfordsville, Indiana – Plaintiff, Banjo Corporation (formerly known as Terra-Knife and Terra-Products) is suing Fontanet, Indiana company, Green Leaf, Inc. (also known as TerreMax) for Trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C. § 1114(1), unfair competition, use of false designations of origin and false advertising under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a); as well as infringement and unfair competition under Indiana common law.

Valve-300x245According to the complaint, Banjo is a leading business in the development and sales of commercial, industrial, and agricultural products, and is most widely known for its valves that regulate the flow of liquids in hoses and pipes.  It claims its customers identify these valves by their distinctive yellow handle that is sold on all 150 types of control valves that they sell.  Court documents show that Banjo has received a Trademark registration (No. 6,600,065) for the Yellow Handle Design specifically for “liquid handling products for commercial, industrial and agricultural use, namely control valves for regulating the flow of liquids in hoses and pipes.”

The Plaintiff alleges that Green Leaf, who sells similar valves but with green handles, recently hired two Banjo employees, and has launched a new division of its company called, TerreMax, which is not only very close in name to Banjo’s previous company names, Terre Knife and Terre Products, but it has also begun selling a line of control valves that have handles in the exact shade of yellow that Banjo uses for their product.  The complaint claims that Green Leaf is acting “in a deliberate effort to encourage false associations with Banjo,” through its name change, handle color, and advertisements which point customers away from Banjo and toward Green Leaf’s nearly identical product.

Columbus, Ohio – Plaintiff Coulter Ventures, LLC, d/b/a Rogue Fitness (“Rogue”) filed suit against Bells of Steel USA Inc., for alleged patent infringement of its fitness products in Bell’s sporting goods stores, including their Indianapolis, Indiana, Bells of Steel USA Showroom.

PatentPicture-300x211According to the complaint, Rogue Fitness owns several design and utility patents for fitness equipment, including Patent No. 11,173,337: “Weightlifting Assembly and Weight Rack Including Weightlifting Assembly”, Patent No. 10,226,661: “Weightlifting Rack Assembly and Wall Mount Bracket for a Weightlifting Rack Assembly,” Patent No. D992,063: “Wall Mounted Exercise Rack,” Patent No. D961,020: “Weight Plate,” and Patent No. RE49,513: “Barbell.”  Rogue states that all these patented products are listed on the company’s website for the public to view at any time.

In the suit, the Plaintiff alleges that the Defendant has been purposely advertising, marketing, selling, manufacturing, and distributing products that are infringing on Rogue’s lawfully held patents. Rogue specifically identified 8 of the products Bells advertises as infringing upon the Plaintiff’s patents in their design and/or utility.  The Plaintiffs claim that the Defendant relies on “making cheap copies of products and designs created by others and only later dealing with patent infringement.”

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