Articles Posted in New Litigation

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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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Corlinea, LLC of Chandler, Indiana, filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendants, Drostes Jewelry Shoppe Inc. (“Droste”) of Evansville, Indiana, and Shah Diamonds, Inc., D/B/A Shah Luxury (“Shah”) ofcorlinea-BlogPhoto-300x177 New York, New York, infringed rights in United States Copyright Registration No. VAu 1-301-361 the “HEARTY LOVE” design and United States Copyright Registration No. VAu 2-093-049, the “HEARTLINES LOVE PENDANT” design. Plaintiff is seeking an award for damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, and other relief as determined proper by the Court.

Corlinea’s principal, Sheryl Lutz-Brown, first began designing the works in question in 2016. Her concept was to find a unique way to incorporate the word “love,” and subsequently other words, into a heart shape with a continuous line. Corlinea is the owner by assignment of both of the copyright registrations in question here and has all rights, title, and interest in all causes of action for infringement.

In November 2016, Sheryl met with Droste concerning her new design to help guide her to a reputable manufacturer for her jewelry. After meeting in person, Sheryl provided a .eps file of her design to Droste to be sent to the manufacturer for a quote. The original quote for the CAD design and making of the first piece in Sterling Silver was $300.00, which Sheryl paid the following day. Over the next several months, Sheryl created at least five other designs and worked with Droste to fine tune each of them and have the CAD drawings and prototypes developed. While Sheryl had already paid $9,714.53 to Droste and had another $14,000.00 ordered, Droste refused to supply an invoice for Corlinea.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Oakley, Inc. of Foothill Ranch, California, filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendants, Swami Property Sunman Inc., d/b/a Sunman BP of Sunman, Indiana, Chirag Patel, an individual, and Does 1-10 (collectively “Defendants”) infringed its rights in United States Trademarks as seen below:

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Plaintiff is seeking judgment against Defendants, preliminary and permanent injunctions, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and investigatory fees.

Oakley has been a successful manufacturer and retailer of eyewear since at least 1985. During that time, they have acquired many trademarks including, but not limited to those pictured above (collectively, the “Oakley Marks”). Plaintiff has utilized the Oakley Marks to distinguish their high quality products from those of others and their consumers have come to recognize their distinct marks.

Plaintiff filed this action after discovering counterfeit products bearing infringing Oakley Marks were being offered for sale and/or sold at a gas station with a convenience store operating under the name of “SUNMAN BP.” It is Oakley’s belief that the Defendants are selling and offering for sale these counterfeit products with the intent that they will be mistaken for genuine high quality Oakley eyewear even though the Defendants are not licensees of Oakley nor have they been given the authority to use the Oakley Marks.

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Lightning-v-Harmon-BlogPhoto-300x181Hammond, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Lightning One, Inc. of Sherman Oaks, California, filed suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Nicholas P. Harmon of Lake Station, Indiana, infringed its rights in United States Trademark Registration Nos. 4375013 and 4349360 for NATIONAL WRESTLING ALLIANCE, and Trademark Registration No. 5418415 for the Logo associated with NATIONAL WRESTLING ALLIANCE. All of these registered marks will be referred to collectively as the “NWA Marks.” Plaintiff is seeking a permanent injunction, an accounting and judgment, treble damages, punitive damages, and costs including attorneys’ fees.

Lightning One has been involved in the professional wrestling world for seventy years with its NWA Marks being used in interstate commerce as early as 1948. They allege that not only do they have the rights in the federally registered trademarks, they also have strong common law rights based off their prior use. Plaintiff discovered that Harmon was posting videos and other social media content claiming to be “The Real NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion” and “The People’s NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion” in April 2018. Harmon also utilized a logo to promote his services that was allegedly intended to be confusingly similar with that of the registered NWA logo.

After discovering the infringing content, Lightning One sent Harmon a cease and desist letter. Instead of complying with the letter, Harmon posted his interactions with Lightning One on social media and continued using the NWA Marks. A further demand letter sent by Lightning One was also not complied with. In fact, Defendant made a Facebook post saying that he was intending on selling t-shirts using the mark N.W.A shortly after the letter. While he claims it was for his favorite rap group of the same initials, the background of this case seems to show differently.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Stellar Records, LLC (“SRL”) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin filedStellar-BlogPhoto-300x254 suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Anthony Bishop, an individual of Beech Grove, Indiana, infringed 264 sound recordings of Plaintiff which were registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Plaintiff is seeking statutory damages, attorney fees, court costs, and other relief as the court determines proper.

Stellar Records, Inc. (“SRI”) began producing and selling sound-a-like recordings of popular, newly released songs for karaoke performances in 1995. After SRI would license the song from the copyright owner, they would use house musicians to re-record the piece and then digitally pair them with graphics containing the words of the song. The final pieces would be burned onto a compact disc and sold as a collection for karaoke. SRL has acquired the copyrights of about 950 songs originally produced by SRI.

Mark Mann, a resident of Tucson, Arizona advertises and sells external computer hard drives with infringing copies of karaoke and music sound recordings on various websites. Mann claims that these hard drives contain no fewer than 250,000 karaoke recordings. A representative from SRL purchased a hard drive from Mann in March 2017. After having it forensically analyzed, it was revealed that the drive contained at least 264 infringing copies of SRL’s recordings. SRL filed suit against Mann on August 10, 2017 for copyright infringement. During discovery, SRL found that the Defendant here, Bishop, purchased computer hard drives from Mann on two occasions. Bishop utilized the two hard drives he purchased for $389.00 total in order to provide karaoke jockey services to bars and taverns.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, National Federation of Professional Trainers, Inc. (“NFPT”) of Lafayette, Indiana, filedBlogPhoto-300x105 suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Carrington College, Inc. (“Carrington”) of Sacramento, California, infringed its rights in United States Copyright Registration No. TX 8-515-798 (“NFPT 0241 Exam”). Plaintiff further alleges misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, and fraud. Plaintiff is seeking damages, profits received from unauthorized copying and distribution of the copyrighted work, attorney’s fees, costs, and injunctive relief.

NFPT creates and administers examinations for the certification of personal trainers. Their certification programs have been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies since 2005. Carrington has utilized NFPT’s examinations and educational materials as a part of its Physical Therapy Technology Program. At the end of the course, students were able to sit for the NFPT certification exam for the opportunity to become a certified personal trainer upon obtaining a “passing” score.

Carrington administered an NFPT examination December 10, 2015 via their proctor, Mr. Phillip Schauer (“Schauer”). As proctor, Schauer had to sign a confidential disclosure agreement, which included maintaining the confidentiality of the exams and not duplicating any of the testing materials. The December 10, 2015 exam produced extremely abnormal results for the students’ test scores. Of the twenty-six candidates, fifteen had identical or similar response strings while the remaining candidates response strings differed by a maximum of four responses out of 120. All of the candidates obtained a “passing” score. Due to the abnormalities in the results, NFPT voided the results and required all candidates to retake the examination with new questions on August 26, 2016. Only six candidates chose to retake the exam and of those, only two obtained a passing score.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, FOTOHAUS, LLC (“Fotohaus”) of Tallahassee, Florida filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, OFS BRANDS, INC (“OFS”) of Huntingburg, Indiana infringed its rights in United States Copyright Registration No. VA 1-832-736 photograph titled “Light Collector” (“Photograph”). Plaintiff is seeking statutory damages, actual damages, Plaintiff’s costs, and attorneys’ fees.Fotohaus-BlogPhoto-300x214

The Photograph in question was first captured by Daniel Foster, Manager of Fotohaus, in Shanghai, China on July 1, 2010. Foster posted the Photograph to his Flickr account on July 13, 2010 and later registered the Photograph with the United States Copyright Office on July 17, 2012. Fotohaus was assigned the copyright to the Photograph on March 8, 2017. On or about June 2, 2016, OFS copied the Photograph and posted it to their commercial website accompanying a post advertising the design of a product they offered. Defendant also posted a copy of the Photograph on their Twitter page on June 6, 2016.

Fotohaus mailed their first letter identifying the infringement of the Photograph to OFS on September 5, 2017 demanding among other things that OFS remove the infringing material. At least ten communications between the Plaintiff and Defendant occurred between October 17, 2017 and February 19, 2018. The offending Twitter post was not removed by OFS until February 19, 2018. Plaintiff claims the Defendant not only violated their exclusive rights of reproduction and distribution, but the act of infringement was willful, intentional, and without regard to the rights of the Plaintiff. For this, Plaintiff is requesting a declaration that Defendant’s unauthorized conduct violated Plaintiff’s rights under the Federal Copyright Act, maximum allowable statutory damages, and actual damages.

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