Articles Posted in New Litigation

Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, The Trustees of Indiana University of Bloomington, Indiana,IU-v-MidAmerica-BlogPhoto filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendants, Mid-America Publishing, Inc., of  Spencer, Indiana and Terry R. Self of  Spencer, Indiana, infringed its rights in United States Trademark Registration Numbers 1,713,815, 4,912,172, 1,705,521, 2,868,784, 1,728,274, and 4,925,141 (collectively the “IU Marks”). The IU Marks were all instituted at different times, the earliest of which were used as early as 1975, and have been continuously used to date. Indiana University advertises and promotes the IU Marks and has spent a substantial amount of money to make the IU Marks inherently distinctive and easily recognizable. Plaintiff is seeking injunctive relief, judgment including statutory damages, and attorneys’ fees.

As of the date of filing, Mid-America Publishing, Inc. (“Mid-America”) was and had been administratively dissolved since July 15, 2010, according to the Indiana Secretary of State. Mr. Self is the sole officer and owner of Mid-America and as such directs all acts of Mid-America including producing, promoting, and selling posters, calendars, cards, and other printed materials. Previously, Mid-America began selling a poster of the Indiana University (“IU”) Men’s Basketball team with a listing of the games for their upcoming season. These posters included one or more trademarks owned by IU. Mid-America would customize these posters for local companies for them to pass out to as free promotional items.

Up until April 2012, there was an informal understanding between IU and Mid-America regarding the posters and the use of their trademarks. The parties’ informal understanding was formalized in April of 2012 when they entered into a multi-year Marketing and Sponsorship Agreement. The use of the trademarks was non-exclusive and limited, and Mid-America agreed not to use any student-athlete’s name or likeness without advance written approval from IU’s Compliance Officer. Mid-America produced and sold the posters in accordance with this Agreement up until May 2, 2016 when IU informed Mid-America that it would not continue licensing to Mid-America. The term of the Agreement was extended by one year in which Mid-America was allowed to produce the poster for the 2016-2017 season, after it received approval for the artwork from IU.

While IU photographs its student-athletes for promoting its athletic programs and events, it has a policy to prohibit any profits being made from the use of a student-athlete’s name, image, or likeness by IU or any third party. IU filed an expedited application with the United States Copyright Office to register their 2017-2018 IU Student-Athlete Photographs on October 3, 2018. The application has been registered as VA0002121460, but a Certificate of Registration had not been received by the Plaintiff as of the filing of the Complaint.

On October 9, 2017, Mr. Self on behalf of Mid-America, submitted an Application for License Agreement to IU to use the IU Marks in producing the 2017-2018 Mid-America IU Basketball Poster. The Application did not request to use any student-athlete names or likenesses, and the Trademark License Agreement provided by IU for consideration did not contain any license for the same. Mid-America executed the Trademark License Agreement on October 28, 2017. IU did not execute the agreement as it learned that Mid-America was already selling unapproved 2017-2018 IU Basketball Posters including the IU Marks, IU Student-Athlete Photographs, and the names of the student-athletes. After numerous attempts to contact Mid-America to resolve the situation, IU contacted the printers that Mid-America fraudulently induced to print the unapproved posters. The printers ceased printing the posters, agreed to destroy any they had remaining in their possession, and gave a quantity for how many they had already printed and delivered to Mid-America.

Despite all of the communication that was ignored by Mid-America for the 2017-2018 IU Basketball Poster production, Mid-America began producing and offering for sale its 2018-2019 version on August 29, 2018. Further, they are producing a Hoops Hysteria Handbook, which includes the schedule of each Division 1 college in Indiana, including IU’s. The Handbook does contain IU Student-Athlete Photographs and is offered for “free” with each Mid-America IU Basketball Poster, but advertises may pay for their advertisement to be printed on the back for $0.20 per booklet. As such, IU is claiming, trademark infringement and counterfeiting, false and deceptive labeling, unfair competition, and copyright infringement.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Eli Lilly and Company of Indianapolis, Indiana, filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana for a declaratory judgment against Defendant, Adocia S.A. of Lyon, France, who is claiming inventorship and ownership rights inLilly-v-Adocia-photo-300x170 Lilly’s United States Patent No. 9,901,623 B2 (“the ‘623 Patent”) for “Rapid-Acting Insulin Compositions”, and United States Patent No. 9,993,555 B2 (“the ‘555 Patent”) for “Rapid-Acting Insulin Compositions”. Plaintiff is seeking declaratory judgment, attorneys’ fees and costs, and further relief the Court determines to be just and proper.

Lilly began its research that led to the ‘623 and ‘555 Patents at least as early as 2011. Right around that same time, Lilly and Adocia began negotiating an agreement to develop an ultra-rapid insulin “URI” formulation using Adocia’s BioChaperone® technology. Adocia and Lilly entered into a collaborative research and license agreement on December 13, 2011. The two companies signed a confidentiality agreement on November 21, 2012. By July 2013, the original agreement was terminated.

The Parties entered into a second confidentiality agreement on December 16, 2013 and a second collaborative research and license agreement on December 18, 2014 using different BioChaperone® molecules than the first agreement. The second research collaborative continued until January 2017. While Lilly was a part of the research collaborative, they were also running a separate internal program to develop a URI with specific concentrations of citrate for a more rapid time action profile and specific excipients to maintain the stability for the composition. Unlike this research, the collaborative research focused only on URI products containing BioChaperone® molecules. The separate internal research led to the ‘623 Patent issuing on February 27, 2018 and the ‘555 Patent issuing on June 12, 2018.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Veridus Group, Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana, filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana for a declaratory judgment against Defendant, Strategic IP Information Pte Ltd. (“SIP-IP”) of Irvine, California, that Veridus Group has not infringed SIP-IP’s rights in United States TrademarkBlogphoto Registration No. 5,294,263 for the mark VERI-SITE. Plaintiff is seeking declaration and judgment, damages, attorney’s fees, costs, and any other relief the Court may deem appropriate.

This case arose after the Defendant sent the Plaintiff a cease and desist letter alleging that Veridus Group was infringing on their federal trademark. SIP-IP provides internet and brand management services, which include certification systems to “help ad networks and publishers identify website hosting content without authorization.” Veridus Group runs a site certification program designed to help professional property developers mitigate risk and to help end-users in increasing the speed to market and improving the value and marketability of a site or building. They utilize the mark VERISITE for marketing and sales purposes related to their site certification services and related goods.

Veridus Group claims that the Defendant does not have an exclusive right over the word “VERISITE” in connection with Plaintiff’s business activities as they are significantly different from those of SIP-IP. Further, Plaintiff alleges that even if Defendant did have exclusive ownership in this manner, the services and goods are marketed in such different channels of trade and with both companies working with sophisticated purchasers, there is not a likelihood of confusion for the origin of the services and/or goods. As there is an actual case and controversy as to whether Plaintiff is infringing Defendant’s mark in violation of the Lanham Act and as to whether the Plaintiff engaged in unfair competition at the federal or state common law level, Plaintiff is seeking a declaration of the rights of the parties in connection with the mark VERISITE.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Alliant Specialty Insurance Services, Inc., of San Diego, California, filed suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Tribal-Care Insurance LLC of St. John, Indiana, has and continues to infringe its rights in the TribalCare trademark. Plaintiff is seeking an injunction, damages, statutory damages, costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees in addition to other relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

The Plaintiff alleges that the TribalCare mark was first used in interstate commerce on or about May 24, 2010 by HealthSmart Holdings, Inc. The mark was registered on November 29, 2011 as United States Trademark Registration No. 4,062,744. Just before the mark was officially registered, on or about October 7, 2011,Alliant-v-Tribal-BlogPhoto-300x68 HealthSmart and Alliant came to an agreement that would allow Alliant to use the TribalCare trademark.

According to Alliant, HealthSmart learned of the Defendant’s use of the mark “Tribal-Care” in late 2015 or early 2016. After HealthSmart discovered the allegedly infringing use, they sent a cease and desist letter to Tribal-Care on January 8, 2016. Defendant filed a petition to cancel HealthSmart’s registration in the United States Patent and Trademark Office before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board on August 17, 2016. As a result, HealthSmart assigned the trademark rights in the TribalCare mark to Alliant so they could be substituted into the cancellation action for litigation.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Gabriella Bass of Brooklyn, New York, filed suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, COTR, LLC of Indianapolis, Indiana,  infringed her rights in United States Copyright Registration No. VA 2-055-082. Plaintiff is seeking damages, statutory damages, costs, expenses, attorneys’ fees, pre-judgment interest, and other relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

The copyright at issue in this case is that for photographs of the fearless girl statue in New York City with the addition of a urinating dog. Bass licensed the photographs that she took to the New York Post. They subsequently ran an article featuring the photoblogphoto-288x300graphs on May 29, 2017 with Bass listed as the photographer. Following the release of the New York Post article, COTR ran an article on their website featuring Bass’ photographs. COTR, however, failed to license the photographs from Bass or obtain her permission or consent to publish the photographs in their article.

Bass is suing for copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. §§ 106 and 501 for COTR’s unauthorized use of her photographs. She is seeking damages and statutory damages for this violation for up to $150,000 per work infringed under 17 U.S.C. §504. Bass also alleges that COTR violated 17 U.S.C. § 1202(b) by removing copyright management information identifying Bass as the photographer. Statutory damages under this violation fall under 17 U.S.C. § 1203(c)(3) and amount to at least $2,500 up to $25,000 per violation.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, InVue Security Products Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina, filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Mobile Tech, Inc. d/b/a Mobile Technologies Inc. and MTI, formerly known as Merchandising Technologies, Inc. of Hillsboro, Oregon, but incorporated in Indiana, infringed its rights in United States Patent No. 10,062,266, (the “‘266Invue-BlogPhotot-300x191 patent”) for a “Programmable Security System and Method for Protecting Merchandise”.   Plaintiff is seeking a permanent injunction, damages, judgment awarding InVue a reasonable royalty, prejudgment interest, and other relief the Court may deem just and proper.

Chief executive officers for both parties met in person on April 11, 2018 to discuss the defendant’s Intellikey 3.0, its Gateway products, and other potentially infringing items “Accused Items”. The plaintiff provided defendant with a copy of at least Claim 1 of the pending ‘266 patent, informing them that the Intellikey 3.0 would infringe the claims of the ‘266 patent when issued. The application for the ‘266 patent published on August 16, 2018 and the ‘266 patent issued on August 28, 2018, just before the Complaint was filed.

The first cause of action in the Complaint is for direct infringement of the ‘266 patent as MTI manufactures, offers for sale, sells, imports, and/or uses the Accused Items. Second, contributory infringement of the ‘266 patent is alleged as the Accused Items are not staple articles of commerce, are not suitable for a substantial non-infringing use, and are especially made or adapted for use in an infringement of the ‘266 patent. Third, infringement by inducement because the defendant sells the Accused Items to customers with the intent that they will use and operate them in a manner that infringes the ‘266 patent. Finally, plaintiffs claim that defendants should be held liable for pre-issuance damages as they were aware and had actual notice of the patent application after it published.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiffs, Taylor Precision Products, Inc. of Oak Brook, Illinois, and The Chef’n Corporation of Seattle, Washington, filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendants, Double A Concepts, LLC of Mooresville, Indiana, Aaron Farnsworth of Mooresville, Indiana, and Gemini Farnsworth of Mooresville, Indiana, infringed their rights in United States Patent No. 9,718,198 (“the ‘198198Patent-300x244 Patent”) for “Stripping Tool for Leafy Vegetables and Herbs” and United States Patent No. D776,991 (“the ‘991 Patent”) for “Stripping Tool for Leafy Vegetable and Herbs”. Plaintiffs are seeking permanent and preliminary injunctions, compensatory damages, treble damages, pre-judgment interest, costs, and attorney fees.

Plaintiff Chef’n owns the ‘198 Patent, which issued on August 1, 2017 from an application claiming the benefit to the provisional application that was filed on September 8, 2014. Plaintiff Taylor owns the ‘991 Patent, which issued on January 24, 2017 from an application filed on September 8, 2014. The Defendants own and operate a store, “Friendly Cooking,” which sells kitchen products through their website, www.friendlycooking.com.

Together, Plaintiffs allege that the Defendants offer for sale and have sold a 3 Piece Clip on Strainer Set, which includes an infringing herb stripping tool. The herb stripping tool is alleged to include each and every limitation recited in at least independent claim 1 and dependent claims 2-5 of the ‘198 Patent. Even if the herb stripping tool does not contain each and every feature literally, the Plaintiffs claim that it is still infringing under the Doctrine of Equivalents. Further, Plaintiffs assert that the herb stripping tool is substantially the same design as the ‘991 Patent, therefore infringing the ‘991 Patent.

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Bell-v-Association-BlogPhoto-300x128Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorney Richard Bell of McCordsville, Indiana filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, The Association for Behavior Analysis, Inc., infringed his rights to the “Indianapolis Photo” registered on August 4, 2011 with the US Copyright Office, Registration No. VA0001785115. Plaintiff is seeking actual and statutory damages, costs, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and any other relief as is just and proper.

Bell has sued many in Indiana federal courts asserting copyright infringement on his own behalf. See:

In this case, Defendant created a website for their business to promote an Indianapolis convention [http://hoosieraba.com/category/Indianapolis]. Plaintiff alleges Defendant published the Indianapolis Photo on that site without his permission. Bell has fully controlled his photograph from 2000 and registered it with the US Copyright Office in 2011. He discovered this alleged infringement of his photo in May 2018 with the use dating back to 2014. The Plaintiff not only alleges copyright infringement, but also vicarious liability for each copy of his photograph downloaded by third-parties from the Defendant’s website.

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Bell-v-Fischer-BlogPhoto-300x144Indianapolis, Indiana –Plaintiff and Attorney, Richard N. Bell of McCordsville, Indiana, filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Harold Fischer, infringed his rights to the “Indianapolis Photo” registered on August 4, 2011 with the US Copyright Office, Registration No. VA0001785115. Plaintiff is seeking actual and statutory damages, costs, reasonable attorneys’ fees and other relief deemed just and proper.

Bell is notorious for filing many lawsuits on his own behalf asserting copyright infringement in Indiana federal courts. He has published or licensed the Indianapolis Photo in compliance with copyright laws since March 2000. The photograph was first published online on August 29, 2000 by Bell on his Web shots account. Almost eleven years later, Bell registered the photograph with the US Copyright Office.

Defendant, Fischer, created a website for his Indianapolis-based business at http://pooltablemoving.com/. It is alleged that he committed copyright infringement by including the Indianapolis Photo on his website from 2016 to 2018 without properly licensing from Bell. The Plaintiff also claims that Fischer is vicariously liable for each downloaded copy of the Indianapolis Photo by any third-party user from the business website.

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Houston, Texas – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Larry G. Philpot of Indiana, filed suit in the Southern District of Texas alleging that Defendant,Blogphoto-105x300 RCC Holdings, LLC of Houston, Texas, infringed the freelance photographer’s concert photograph of Ted Nugent. Plaintiff is seeking permanent injunctive relief, actual damages, statutory damages, prejudgment interest, attorney’s fees, and other relief to which he is entitled.

Philpot has filed many lawsuits on his own behalf asserting copyright infringement in Indiana federal courts. Having been unsuccessful in defending against motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction in those cases, he is now suing with the help of legal counsel where the defendants are each located. See:

In this case, Philpot, took a photograph of Ted Nugent on July 31, 2013. On August 15, 2013, Philpot registered the work with the United States Copyright Office under Certificate Number VAu 1-164-624. Almost one month later, Philpot displayed the photograph on the Wikimedia website. Philpot offered the use of this photograph under a Creative Commons license, which allows members of the public to use the photo as long as Philpot is given proper credit among other requirements.

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