Articles Posted in New Litigation

kid-rock-150x150Indianapolis, Indiana – Apparently, Larry G. Philpot, the Plaintiff, is a well-known photographer of concerts and musicians throughout the United States. Mr. Philpot has filed multiple copyright infringement lawsuits to protect and enforce the rights to his photographs.  In this case, Mr. Philpot claims Mustard Seed Media, LLC and The Prosper Group Corporation, the Defendants, infringed his rights in copyright registration no. VAu 1-182-727, a photo Mr. Philpot allegedly took of Kid Rock.  Mr. Philpot is seeking damages for copyright infringement against both Defendants pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §§ 504 and 505.

 

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New Albany, Indiana –Thomas A. Person (“Person”), the Plaintiff, claims to have invented a cigar “Cedar spill” protected by U.S. Patent Nos. 8,507,070 and D664,292 (the “‘070 Patent”, the “‘292 Patent”, collectively “Person’s Patents”).  The entity Defendants, Cigar Reserve LLC and Collett Enterprises, Incorporated, allegedly sell products that infringe Person’s Patents.  The individual Defendants, Brian and Chanda Kurland, are each purportedly members of and control Cigar Reserve.

According to the Complaint, Person discovered Cigar Reserve was selling a cedar spill for a cigar around August 13, 2013. After multiple communications with Mr. Kurland, the two parties entered into a License Agreement on June 16, 2014.  The term of the License Agreement was seemingly extended on at least two occasions until Mr. Kurland was informed the License Agreement would terminate on January 1, 2017.  Person states he discovered allegedly infringing products being sold by the Defendants on October 3, 2020, more than three years after the License Agreement ended.  Therefore, Person is suing for patent infringement of both Person’s Patents pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 271.

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New Albany, Indiana –Sandcraft, LLC dba Sandcraft Motorsports (“Sandcraft”), the Plaintiff designs, manufactures, and sells aftermarket parts for Utility Terrain Vehicles (“UTV”).  Apparently one such part is a “CARRIER BEARING ASSEMBLY” protected by United States Patent No. 10,471,825 (the “‘825 Patent”), which was assigned to Sandcraft.  Sandcraft claims it makes and sells carrier bearings products that embody and use the inventions claimed in the ‘825 Patent bearing the patent number (the “Sandcraft Products”).

According to the Complaint, Super ATV, LLC dba SuperATV, the Defendant, makes, imports, and/or sells carrier bearings products that allegedly infringe the ‘825 Patent (the “Accused Products”).  Sandcraft claims SuperATV monitors the UTV market and the intellectual property of its competitors and therefore had actual notice of or was willfully blind to the existence of the ‘825 Patent since at least May 14, 2018, the date the patent application published.  Further, Sandcraft claims SuperATV had actual notice of the ‘825 Patent at least as of February 26, 2020 based on correspondence sent to SuperATV’s counsel.  Therefore, Sandcraft is seeking damages for patent infringement in violation of 35 U.S.C. § 271 pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §§ 154(d) and 284.BlogPhoto-e1608672857600 Continue reading

donna-chandler-800x760-1-300x285-1-150x150Indianapolis, Indiana – According to the Complaint, Donna Chandler (“Chandler”), one of the Defendants and owner of Co-Defendant, Show Colors, Inc. (“Show Colors”), is the author of a canine training book called “Good Dog!” Apparently, Chandler along with Plaintiffs, Kevin DeTrude (“DeTrude”) and Content & Commerce, Inc. (“Content” and collectively “Plaintiffs”), are members of nominal defendant, My K9 Behaves LLC (“My K9”). Content is allegedly in the business of website development and marketing and is owned by Keneth Zweigel (“Zweigel”). Per the Complaint, Chandler, DeTrude, and Zweigel began working on an online instruction course based upon two books written by Chandler (the “Online Class”) in January 2016. The parties apparently also discussed converting the text-based course to a video format.

Two videos were allegedly recorded and paid for by DeTrude in 2016 with a script for a third video written around February 2017. It appears Chandler, Content, and DeTrude officially formed their business on April 4, 2017, but the parties did not execute an Operating Agreement for the business until mid-June 2017, which included clauses assigning all common law and registered trademark and copyrights, including Chandler’s books and the publishing rights to My K9 (the “Assigned Rights”). Upon dissolution or the termination of Chandler’s ownership in My K9, the Assigned Rights would allegedly revert back to Chandler. According to the Complaint, shortly after the Operating Agreement was executed, a third video was recorded and paid for by Zweigel.

As My K9 was experiencing apparent success, the company entered into a Publishing Agreement for a third book to be written by Chandler with the rights assigned to My K9. Allegedly due to the length of time spent writing the book, the first Publishing Agreement was revoked, and a Second Publishing Agreement was put in place. The Plaintiffs claim Chandler then began demanding a greater portion of the profits and ultimately decided if the rights to the third book were not in her name only, she simply would not publish the third book. Chandler then apparently informed DeTrude and Content that she was withdrawing her membership in My K9 and demanded they cease and desist using her name or likeness and re-assign the Assigned Rights back to her.

DeTrude and Content are seeking a declaratory judgment of copyright and trademark ownership “including any derivative or original intellectual property created by or on behalf of My K9. Further, to the extent the Plaintiffs own any of the copyrighted works, they allege Chandler and Show Colors have infringed those works by profiting off the sale of the works individually and not for the benefit of My K9. To the extent Plaintiffs own any trademarks, they are similarly claiming trademark infringement. Plaintiffs have also brought derivative and direct claims for breach of fiduciary duty, usurpation of corporate opportunities, theft and conversion pursuant to I.C. § 35-43-4-3. Finally, Plaintiffs are claiming breach of contract for Defendants’ alleged breach of the Operating Agreement.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Vera Bradley Designs, Inc. (“Vera Bradley”) the Plaintiff, claims to have more than 1,100 copyright registrations for its unique fabric designs, 17 of which are at issue in this case (the “Vera Bradley Works”). Vera Bradley claims to sell eyeglasses, sunglasses, and cases bearing the Vera Bradley Works.

According to the Complaint, Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. (“Dollar Tree”) and Greenbrier International, Inc. (“Greenbrier”), the Defendants, sell eyeglasses and related accessories that allegedly infringe the Vera Bradley Works. Vera Bradley claims after it sent a cease and desist letter to Dollar Tree, Dollar Tree stated it was unable to remove the alleged infringing products from its stores. Further, Vera Bradley claims Greenbrier sourced and/or imported the alleged infringing products.

Vera Bradley is claiming copyright infringement against both Defendants and vicarious and contributory copyright infringement against Greenbrier pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 501. Vera Bradley further claims Dollar Tree participated in unfair and deceptive trade practices in violation of I.C. § 24-5-0.5-03.

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Indianapolis, IndianaSomero Enterprises, Inc. (“Somero”), the Plaintiff, claims to be a pioneer in the development and manufacturing of laser-guided concrete screeding machines. According to the Complaint, Somero has a portfolio of 63 patents including the patent at issue, United States Patent No. 8,038,366 (the “‘366 Patent”).  Somero claims Ligchine International Corporation (“Ligchine”), the Defendant, offers a product called the “SpiderScreed” that allegedly infringes the ‘366 Patent.

Per the Complaint, Somero sent a letter to Ligchine on July 30, 2020 accusing Ligchine of infringing the ‘366 Patent by manufacturing and selling the SpiderScreed product. Somero claims the SpiderScreed infringes at least claims 1-5 of the ‘366 Patent and Ligchine has not ceased the manufacture and sale of the SpiderScreed.  Therefore, Somero is seeking damages and attorneys’ fees for patent infringement pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §§ 271 and 285.

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DancersShowclub-LogoIndianapolis, Indiana – According to the Complaint, Plaintiffs, Jennifer Archuletta, Gemma Lee Farrell, Jesse Golden, Hillary Hepner, Jessa Hinton, Joanna Krupa, Gia McCool, Alana Campos Souza, Irina Voronina, and Lucy Pinder, are all professional models. Apparently, M E R Corporation d/b/a Dancers Showclub (“Showclub”), the Defendant, is a strip club located in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Plaintiffs claim Showclub misappropriated the Plaintiffs’ photos, images, and likenesses in advertising materials to promote Showclub on social media without their consent or a license. By using the Plaintiffs’ photos, Plaintiffs claim Showclub falsely indicated the parties are associated and that the Plaintiffs endorse Showclub. Therefore, Plaintiffs are seeking damages for false endorsement, unfair competition, and/or false advertising in violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)(1), violations of the Plaintiffs’ right of publicity pursuant to I.C. § 32-36-1, et seq., and unjust enrichment.

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Joe-Hand-300x141Indianapolis, New Albany Division, Indiana – Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. (“Joe Hand’), the Plaintiff, claims to specialize in licensing premier sporting events to commercial establishments including bars, restaurants, and other similar locations. Those premier sporting events apparently included the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Conor McGregor boxing match on August 26, 2017 (the “Program”) that was purportedly registered under U.S. Copyright No. PA 2-006-333. According to the Complaint, Defendants, Lena Marie Smith and Main Street Bar N Grill, LLC (“Defendants”), avoided paying the proper commercial licensing fees and publicly exhibited the Program at their establishment.

This case is extremely similar to the numerous lawsuits Joe Hand has filed previously. Like most of those cases, Joe Hand is seeking damages for satellite piracy (47 U.S.C. § 605), cable piracy (47 U.S.C. § 553), and copyright infringement (17 U.S.C. § 505).

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Fort Wayne, Indiana – According to the Complaint, Magnadyne Corporation (“Magnadyne”), the Plaintiff, and Winegard Company (“Winegard”), the Defendant, are competitors in the recreational vehicle market. Magnadyne claims to have filed a patent application titled “Combination External Vehicle Antenna Housing and Installation Method” on April 2, 2018. Apparently that application published on October 4, 2018 as US2018/0287250A1 (the “‘250 Publication”). The day after the ‘250 Publication was published, Magnadyne claims it provided a copy to Winegard via one of Winegard’s subsidiaries, WiFi Ranger. Thereafter on April 14, 2020, Magnadyne’s patent was issued as United States Patent No. 10,622,709 (the “‘709 Patent”).

Magnadyne-BlogPhotoMagnadyne claims to have notified Winegard and WiFi Ranger of the ‘709 Patent the day it issued via written communications. Since then, Magnadyne claims Winegard has continued to sell an alleged infringing product, the Air 360+, among other products accused of infringement. Per the Complaint, the sale, manufacture, and use of the Air 360+ directly infringes at least claim 1 of the ‘709 Patent. Magnadyne claims to have suffered damages for direct infringement, contributory infringement, and induced infringement of the ‘709 Patent. Therefore, Magnadyne is seeking a reasonable royalty, compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs.

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BlogPhoto-1-203x300Evansville, IndianaJoe Hand Promotions, Inc. (“Joe Hand”), a frequent Plaintiff in the federal courts of Indiana, apparently specializes in licensing premier sporting events to bars, restaurants, and similar venues. According to the Complaint, Joe Hand had an agreement with the owner of U.S. Copyright PA-002-0660333 to commercially distribute the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Conor McGregor boxing match (the “Program”) on August 26, 2017.

Per the Complaint, the Defendants, Joseph J. Kim, Sarah Ying AI Kim, and Genesis Business Systems, LLC d/b/a Gangnam Korean BBQ, exhibited the Program to the public without paying for a commercial license through Joe Hand. As such, Joe Hand is seeking damages for satellite and cable piracy pursuant to 47 U.S.C. §§ 605 and 553, respectively, and copyright infringement pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 505.

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