Articles Posted in Trademark Infringement

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.

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.

Evansville, Indiana – Plaintiff HealthSmart Foods, Inc., has brought a Trademark infringement suit against Menlo Park, California Defendants Beth Porter and Sweet Nothings, Inc.  In addition to infringement claims, the suit also alleges Unfair Competition, Trademark Dilution, and Deceptive Trade Practices.

SweetNothingsBites-298x300According to the complaint, HealthSmart has been manufacturing, marketing, and selling health food snacks that include a line of chocolates, candies, nut butter food snacks with chocolate/peanut butter flavors, and chocolate/banana/peanut butter flavors, under the SWEET NOTHINGS Trademark (registration no. 5,306,700).  HealthSmart claims that it has marketed and sold these products on its website, on, and in stores across the country.

The Plaintiff’s suit claims that the “Defendants have used a mark [SWEET NOTHINGS] identical in appearance, sound, and meaning for substantially similar products.” HealthSmart alleges that the Sweet Nothings, LLC, owner, Beth Porter, used the mark even though she became aware of the similarities when the United States Patent and Trademark Office twice refused to issue Porter a Trademark Registration for the SWEET NOTHINGS Mark due to the likelihood of confusion with HealthSmart’s SWEET NOTHINGS Mark.  To remedy this, the Plaintiff claims, Porter submitted statements that her products would be exclusively frozen, fruit would be the primary ingredient, and they would contain chia seeds, flax seeds, and dates.  However, HealthSmart argues that Porter has since manufactured and sold “Nut Butter Bites,” which is a candy that is not frozen, nor does it contain fruit as a primary ingredient, nor is it comprised of chia seeds, flax seeds, or dates.

Celina, Texas – Plaintiff, Nickels and Dimes Incorporated is suing LaPorte, Indiana company, Noah’s Arcade, LLC d/b/a Full Tilt, for infringement of its federally registered trademark TILT, in association with arcade, amusement, and entertainment services, under Section 32(1) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1114(1).

According to the complaint, Plaintiff Nickels and Dimes opened their first TILT arcade in 1977, inside the Six Flags Mall, in Arlington, TX, and has since owned and operated 200 TILT arcades in the U.S.  NickTiltStudio2-300x225els and Dimes states that it then began using the Trademark TILT STUDIO in 2010, and the TILTED 10 Trademark in 2021, in association with arcade games and indoor entertainment.

The Defendant, Noah’s Arcade, allegedly opened their arcade in 2022 under the mark FULL TILT and has been accused of using the mark in their marketing and advertising, to which the Plaintiff claims infringement of their trademarks TILT, TILT STUDIO, and TILTED 10.  The Plaintiff argues that the products sold under Noah’s FULL TILT mark are identical or highly similar to those that Nickels and Dimes sell under their trademarks.  In addition, the Plaintiff contends that Noah’s Domain Name is similar to Plaintiff’s TILT STUDIO and TILTED 10 marks, which could potentially cause confusion among the customer base who may assume an affiliation between the two entities.

Indianapolis, Indiana – The Plaintiff, Delta Faucet Company (“Delta”), founded in 1954, known as “America’s Faucet Innovation Leader” filed suit against Amazon Storefront Owner Ben Watkins (“Watkins”) for Trademark Infringement under 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114, Unfair Competition under 15 U.S.C. 1125(a) and Common Law Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition.

According to the complaint, Delta markets and sells high quality kitchen, bar, beverage, bathroom, and tub faucets; pot fillers; sink and counter accessories; showerheads; bathing products; towel bars and similar accessories.  Delta allows its products to be purchased by end-user consumers in the United Sates only from Delta itself of from sellers who are expressly authorized by Delta to sell Delta Products (“Authorized Sellers”). Delta permits Authorized Sellers to sell Delta Products in approved channels only and requires Authorized Sellers to abide by agreements, policies, and other rules that impose requirements relating to quality controls, customer services, and other sales practices (collectively, the “Delta Rules”).

Delta has registered numerous trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office including those listed in the table below:

BlogPhotoCrown Point, Indiana – Plaintiff Albert’s Diamond Jewelers, Inc. (“Albert’s”) filed suit against AaLAND Diamond Jewelers (“AaLAND”) for Trademark Infringement, False Designation of Origin, and Unfair Competition in violation of Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)(1)(A), Indiana Common Law Trademark Infringement in violation of Ind. Code § 24-2-1-13.5 and Common Law Unfair Competition.

According to the complaint, Albert’s was established in 1905 in a tiny storefront in East Chicago, Indiana.  They have grown to one of the largest and most successful family-owned jewelers in the entire country.

Cullen Wulf took over ownership of AaLand Diamond Jewelers in mid-2015, per their website. They tout to be the go-to-store for Northwest Indiana residence looking for custom jewelry, diamond engagement rings, and jewelry repairs. They also proclaim to be Northwest Indiana’s trusted gold & diamond buyer.

Continue reading, Indiana – The Plaintiff, 1.4g Holdings, LLC (“1.4g”), filed suit against North Central Industries, Great Grizzly, Inc. and R. Brown, Inc. for Trademark and Trade Dress Infringement, as well as False Designation of Origin under 15 U.S.C. § 1125 and Misappropriation of Commercial Properties Under Indiana Common Law.

1.4g Holdings, LLC is a company that produces and sells consumer fireworks under the brand name ‘76 Pro Line.  Per their website, ’76 Pro Line’s mission is to provide high quality 1.54g fireworks for hobbyists, enthusiasts, professional shooters, and display companies. ’76 Pro Line items have been featured in displays and product demonstrations at several annual events including Western Winter Blast, Pyrotechnics Guild International, Cobra-Con, and the National Fireworks Association Expo.

North Central Industries, Great Grizzly, Inc. and R. Brown, Inc. (“NCI”) are companies that also produce and sell consumer fireworks. According to its website, NCI is a second-generation, family-owned direct importer and wholesaler of customer 1.4G fireworks.   With over 68 years of experience, they serve every pyro need with two distribution points in Muncie, Indiana and Forest Park, Georgia.

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BlogPhoto-150x150Fort Wayne, Indiana –The Plaintiff, Roller Ready, LLC, filed suit against Defendants, LA Systems, LLC d/b/a Monkey Rung and Paul Kiley for participating in false marketing practices, violating the Indiana Deceptive Trade Practices Act, engaging in unfair competition under Indiana common law, and infringing on Roller Ready’s trademark.

Roller Ready, LLC is a company that manufactures and sells rollers for various purposes, including painting, cleaning, and home improvement projects.  Roller Ready was founded in 2013 by a group of entrepreneurs who identified a need for a more efficient and effective way to clean paint rollers.  The founders developed a new product that would allow users to clean paint rollers quickly and easily.  The product, called the Roller Ready System, is a self-contained unit that allows users to clean paint rollers with a minimal amount of water and effort.

Monkey Rung is a product development company that is marketed by LA Systems, LLC which is owned and operated by Paul Kiley.

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BTL-Photo-300x258Indianapolis, Indiana –The Plaintiff, BTL Industries, Inc.  filed suit against Defendant, JV Medical Supplies, Inc.  for  trademark infringement,  false advertising and patent infringement.

BTL Industries, founded in 1993, is a leading manufacturer of non-invasive medical devices that are used for cosmetic and therapeutic purposes. The company holds several patents and trademarks related to its products, including its flagship product, the EMSCULPT device. The EMSCULPT is a non-invasive medical device designed to stimulate muscle contraction using electromagnetic energy. The device is used for body contouring, muscle strengthening, and rehabilitation. The FDA has cleared EMSCULPT for non-invasive treatment for the abdomen, buttocks, arms, calves and thighs.

JV Medical Supplies, a competitor of BTL Industries, also manufactures a similar medical device called the Muscle Stimulator. The Muscle Stimulator is marketed and sold as a non-invasive device that uses electromagnetic energy to stimulate muscle contraction, and it is intended for use in body contouring and muscle strengthening applications. The Indiana Secretary of State indicates that the corporation was created in 2021.

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