Articles Posted in New Litigation

Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorney Richard Bell of McCordsville, Indiana filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Cision US, Inc. (“Cision”), conducts business in the district, and infringed his rights in Cision-BlogPhoto2-300x135United States Copyright No. VA0001785115, the “Indianapolis Photo”. Bell is seeking actual and statutory damages, costs, attorneys’ fees, and any other relief as is just and proper.

Bell, who has filed numerous copyright infringement lawsuits over the Indianapolis Photo, claims Cision published the Indianapolis Photo on its website without his permission beginning in or around 2018. The Complaint asserts Plaintiff’s claim that Cision took or downloaded the Indianapolis Photo without his permission prior to publishing the photo on its website. The Complaint further alleges Cision falsely represented that it owned the rights to publish the Indianapolis Photo by adding a copyright notice to the bottom of each page of its website.

Per the Complaint, Cision has not agreed to be enjoined from using the Indianapolis Photo. Plaintiff states Cision refuses to pay for the unauthorized use of the Indianapolis Photo and that it has allowed third parties to access its website and the Indianapolis Photo. As such, Bell is seeking damages for copyright infringement and vicarious liability for each copy downloaded by a third-party user.

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Kosciusko County, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Rick C. Sasso, M.D. (“Dr. Sasso”) of Carmel, Indiana, originally filed suit in the Kosciusko County Superior Court in Indiana alleging that Defendants, Warsaw Orthopedic, Inc., Medtronic, PLC, and Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Inc., haveSassoBlogPhoto-266x300 denied him and his accounting firm access to their sales ledger per two separate agreements. Dr. Sasso is seeking an injunction ordering Defendants to provide full access to its sales ledger to determine royalties owed to Dr. Sasso under two separate agreements. As of April 12, 2019, Defendants filed a Notice of Removal to remove the case to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.

Per the complaint, Dr. Sasso is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in the treatment of the spine. Dr. Sasso claims the Defendants, together, are top manufacturers for spine implants. It is claimed Dr. Sasso entered into two separate agreements with Sofamor Danek Holding, Inc., which was later acquired by Warsaw Orthopedic through a merger. The first alleged agreement, is the 1999 Screw Delivery System Agreement on November 18, 1999 (the “1999 Agreement”). The second alleged agreement is the 2001 Vertex Agreement, entered into on July 26, 2001 (the “2001 Agreement”). Dr. Sasso claims that these agreements have clauses that enable him to “inspect, examine, audit, and copy [Defendants’] records” relating to the agreements once per calendar year.

In August 2013, Dr. Sasso filed a different suit against the Defendants for unpaid royalties under both the 1999 and 2001 Agreements. Dr. Sasso was granted royalties in the amount of $79,794,721.00 for the 1999 Agreement and $32,657,548.00 for the 2001 Agreement, which has been appealed by Defendants. According to the complaint, the 1999 Agreement requires the Defendants to continue paying royalties until the expiration of U.S. Patent No. 6,287,313 and U.S. Patent No. 6,562,046, on or about November 23, 2019. Dr. Sasso also claims the 2001 Agreement requires Defendants to pay royalties to him so long as “the Medical Device is covered by a valid claim of an issued patent arising out of the Intellectual Property Rights.”

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorney Richard Bell of McCordsville, Indiana filed suit in theBlogPhoto-300x169 Southern District of Indiana alleging that Marriott, LLC, who conducts business in the district, infringed his rights in United States Copyright No. VA0001785115, the “Indianapolis Photo”.  Bell is seeking actual and statutory damages, costs, attorneys’ fees, and any other relief as is just and proper.

Bell claims the Indianapolis Photo is an original work that was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office on August 4, 2011. He further claims that because of his use of the Indianapolis Photo to advertise his photography business, it can be identified by the public as being created by Bell. Since the registration of the Indianapolis Photo, Bell has filed many lawsuits for copyright infringement.

According to the complaint, Marriott used the Indianapolis Photo on its website to draw or attract prospective customers. Bell claims he discovered Marriott’s use of the Indianapolis Photo in March 2018 and that the photo was visible on Marriott’s website on April 6, 2018. Bell is seeking damages for copyright infringement including vicarious liability damages for each downloaded copy of the Indianapolis Photo from Marriott’s website by third-party users.

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Super8-BlogPhoto-2-202x300Fort Wayne, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Super 8 Worldwide, Inc. (“Super 8”) of Parsippany, New Jersey filed suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendants, Harvee Properties, LLC (“Harvee”) and Paresh Patel (“Patel”), both of Auburn, Indiana, infringed its rights in United States Trademark Registration Numbers 1602723 for the mark SUPER 8, 3610108 for the mark SUPER 8 & Design (b/w), 3610109 for the mark SUPER 8 & Design (Color), 1951982 for the mark SUPER 8 HOTEL & Plaque Design, and 1128057 for the mark SUPER 8 MOTEL & Design. Super 8 is seeking preliminary and permanent injunction, direct damages, indirect damages, consequential damages, special damages, costs, actual damages, punitive damages, pre-judgment interest, actual costs, and attorney’s fees.

The Complaint asserts that Super 8 is a widely known provider for guest lodging services and that it first used the SUPER 8 MOTEL mark in 1973. Super 8 claims that pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1065, all of the marks at issue in this case (the “Super 8 Marks”) have achieved incontestable status. Per the complaint, Super 8 franchises its guest lodging services and allows its franchisees to utilize the Super 8 Marks to promote its brand and allow consumers to identify the origin of its services.

Super 8 claims it entered into a franchise agreement on March 31, 2017 with Amrex Receivers, LLC (“Amrex”) for Amrex to operate a Super 8 facility for twenty years in Auburn, Indiana. The Complaint alleges that Amrex terminated the franchise agreement on December 4, 2017. On or about December 29, 2017, Super 8 claims it sent a letter acknowledging the termination and informing Amrex that it must immediately discontinue use of the Super 8 Marks and remove any items from the premises bearing any Super 8 mark within ten days of receiving the letter.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorney Richard Bell of McCordsville, Indiana filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging The Rainmaker Group – Rent Jungle LLC (“Rainmaker”) who conductsRentJungle-BlogPhoto business in the district infringed his rights in United States Copyright No. VA0001785115, the “Indianapolis Photo”.  Bell is seeking actual and statutory damages, costs, attorneys’ fees, and any other relief the court may find just and proper.

Bell, an attorney and self-proclaimed professional photographer claims he took the Indianapolis Photo in March 2000. The Complaint alleges that since then, Bell has published or licensed the Indianapolis Photo in compliance with copyright laws. After registering his work with the U.S. Copyright Office, Bell has filed a substantial number of lawsuits concerning copyright infringement of the Indianapolis Photo.

The Complaint alleges Rainmaker published the Indianapolis Photo on its website to attract prospective customers. Bell claims he discovered Rainmaker’s use of the Indianapolis Photo on December 14, 2017 and that it was visible to viewers of its website on March 7, 2019. Bell is seeking a judgment for copyright infringement and vicarious liability for each and every copy of the Indianapolis Photo that was downloaded from Rainmaker’s website by each third-party Internet user, including damages pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §§ 504 and 505, and 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a).

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Indie Game Studios, LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company, d/b/a Stronghold Games LLC of Florida (“Stronghold”), filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendants, Plan B Games, Inc., a Canadian corporation, and Plan B Games Europe GMBH, a German Company of Hamburg Germany, (collectively “Plan B”) infringed its rights to the Great Western Trail Board Game. The complaint alleges jurisdiction is proper due to Plan B’s presence and activities at the 2018 GenCon convention in Indianapolis, Indiana along with other sales within the District. Stronghold is seeking damages, cost of the action, attorneys’ fees, and all other relief the court may find just and proper.

BlogPhotoStronghold claims it contracted with a German company, eggertspiele GmbH & Co. KG (“eggertspiele”), in 2016 regarding a soon-to be released game to be marketed under the trademark “Great Western Trail.” The complaint alleges Stronghold provided feedback to eggertspiele regarding the English version of the game prior to its finalization and that Stronghold obtained exclusive rights to sell the board game in the English language throughout Canada and the United States. Stronghold claims the term of the agreement was from August 3, 2016 through December 31, 2018, with future successive one-year extensions, which could be cancelled by 3-month written notice.

 

The complaint alleges that the Great Western Trail name and its distinctive lettering was inherently distinctive as a board game trademark. Stronghold claims because it promoted and sold the Stronghold version of the game throughout the United States, Stronghold became the common law owner of the Great Western Trail Marks (“GWT Marks”) for board games in the United States. Stronghold further claims that because its “Stronghold Games ‘Castle’ logo” was also placed on the game box, the game was associated with Stronghold. According to the complaint, Stronghold expended a significant amount of time, money, and effort to promote and market its Great Western Trail game throughout the United States and Canada.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, JLC-Tech LLC (“JLC”) of Pembroke, Massachusetts, filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Edge Systems Group LLC d/b/a Electra Display (“Edge Systems”) of Indianapolis, Indiana, infringed its intellectual property rights regarding its T-BAR LED™ product. JLC is seeking injunctive relief, actual and statutory damages, reasonable attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses.

Pursuant to the complaint, JLC was founded in 2010 to develop revolutionary LED lighting fixtures. JLC claims the T-BAR LED™ is its flagship product and is designed to be used in suspended grid ceilings. The T-BAR LED™ is further claimed to be able to be used as a building element, essentially replacing a standard cross tee, as well as providing lighting. JLC claims the product JLC-BlogPhoto-222x300can be placed within a ceiling with just a snap and the T-BAR LED ™ is possible due to JLC’s invention of a high-performance heat dissipation system. The “T-Bar for Suspended Ceiling with Heath Dissipation System for LED Lighting” is claimed in United States Patent No. 8,177,385 (the “‘385 Patent”).

JLC claims it commissioned photographs of its T-BAR LED™ product for use on its website and physical brochures for advertising and marketing purposes. On July 18, 2018, the U.S. Copyright Office registered JLC’s work entitled “March 2014 T-BAR LED (Linear Lighting) Brochure” under Registration Number VA 2-137-216. JLC’s work entitled “October 2015 T-BAR LED (Linear Lighting) Brochure” was also registered with the U.S. Copyright Office on July 18, 2018 and given the Registration Number VA 2-137-165. The complaint alleges JLC owns all right title and interest in both the March and October brochures, collectively the “JLC Protected Works”.

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CF-BlogPhotoIndianapolis, Indiana – Attorney Richard Bell of McCordsville, Indiana filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (“ CF Foundation”),who conducts business in the district, infringed his rights in United States Copyright No. VA0001785115, the “Indianapolis Photo”.  Bell is seeking actual and statutory damages, costs, attorneys’ fees, and any other relief as the court finds just and proper.

Bell claims he took the Indianapolis Photo in March 2000 and registered it with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2011. Since the registration of the Indianapolis Photo, Bell has filed numerous copyright infringement lawsuits over its use and publication by other parties. In this case, Bell claims he discovered CF Foundation’s use of the Indianapolis Photo in February 2019.

The Complaint asserts that CF Foundation published the Indianapolis Photo on its Website to promote a convention in Indianapolis. Bell has alleged that the CF Foundation has infringed because he believes he had the right to control and supervise the content and access of third-party Internet users to CF Foundation’s website as they utilized his photo. According to the Complaint, Bell believes CF Foundation “downloaded or took the Indianapolis Photo from the internet without” his permission and began publishing the Indianapolis Photo in or around 2013. Based on these allegations, Bell is seeking damages pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §§ 504 and 505.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorney Richard Bell of McCordsville, Indiana filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging NationalNational-blogPhoto Association of Realtors (“Realtors”) infringed his rights in United States Copyright No. VA0001785115, the “Indianapolis Photo”. Bell is seeking actual and statutory damages, costs, attorneys’ fees, and any other relief the court finds just and proper.

Attorney Bell has filed several copyright infringement lawsuits similar to this case. The Complaint in this case alleges Realtors published the Indianapolis Photo on its website to advertise its business. Bell claims after conducting a search in February 2019, he discovered Realtors published the Indianapolis Photo between the years of 2015 to 2018. However, he states he will not know the actual date of first publication until further investigations.

Bell is claiming copyright infringement against Realtors as he alleges it knowingly published the Indianapolis Photo without his authorization. Further, Bell claims Realtors refuses to pay for the unauthorized use of the Indianapolis Photo and will not agree to be enjoined from further use. Finally, Bell claims Realtors permitted third parties to view and download the Indianapolis Photo, and as such, is vicariously liable for any such downloaded copy.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorney Richard Bell of McCordsville, Indiana filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging Hana Business Group (“Hana”) conducts business in the district and infringed his rights in United States Copyright No. VA0001785115 “Indianapolis Nighttime Photo”.  Bell seeks injunctive relief, judgment including statutory damages, and attorneys’ fees.

Bell is an attorney and photographer who claims to have taken a photograph of the Indianapolis skyline in March 2000, which he registered with the U.S. Copyright Office August 4, 2011. Since registering his photograph, Bell claims to have used the Indianapolis Nighttime Photo in advertising to the extent that the public can identify the photo as being taken by him. Bell has also filed numerous lawsuits claiming copyright infringement of the Indianapolis Nighttime Photo since its registration.

According to the Complaint, Hana does business under the name “Cheap Party Bus Rental Indianapolis Indiana.” In 2019, Bell conducted an internet search and found that the Indianapolis Nighttime Photo was published and visible to viewers on Hana’s website. Bell claims Hana utilized the Indianapolis Nighttime Photo on its website to attract prospective customers.

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