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South Bend, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Trane International, Inc. (“Trane”) of Davidson, North Carolina, filed suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Grand Design RV, LLC (“Grand Design”) of Middlebury, Indiana, infringed its rights in United States Trademark Registration No. 5,380,586 (the “‘586BlogPhoto1-300x58 Mark”) for the mark BUILT TO A HIGHER STANDARD. Trane is seeking actual damages, treble damages, attorneys’ fees, and any other relief the Court deems proper.

According to the Complaint, Trane is in the business of designing, building, and selling a variety of products including refrigeration and heating units for vehicles such as trucks and trailers. Trane alleges it has used the ‘586 Mark since at least 1992. Trane further claims that its air conditioners, furnaces, and heat pumps sold under the ‘586 Mark accounted for over $700 million of its sales in 2018.

Trane alleges Grand Design utilizes the ‘586 Mark on its temperature control devices that are used in recreational vehicles. Due to this use, Trane believes Grand Design’s actions will likely confuse consumers and will deceive third parties leading them to think Grand Design’s products are affiliated with Trane. Trane claims it sent two cease and desist letters in the spring of 2018, the second of which finally received a response from Grand Design refusing to cease the use of the ‘586 Mark. Instead, it is alleged Grand Design offered to use the designation “RV’S BUILT TO A HIGHER STANDARD”.

After multiple failed attempts at following up with Grand Design regarding its allegedly infringing use, Trane filed this suit for federal trademark infringement pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1114. Trane is further claiming federal unfair competition and trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a). Finally, Trane is seeking damages for common law unfair competition under the common law of the State of Indiana.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Tyler Research Corporation (“TRC”), a corporation organized under the laws of Pennsylvania with its principal place of business in Alberta, Canada, filed suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendants, Envacon, Inc., a Canadian corporation with a facility in Lafayette, Indiana, Keirnan Bozman, an individual residing in Alberta, Canada, and JKKB Holdings Corporation of Alberta, Canada, infringed its rights in United States Patent No. 6,273,053 (the “‘053 Patent”). Plaintiff is seeking a permanent injunction, damages, costs, expenses, both prejudgment and post-judgment interest, and any other relief the Court mayEnvacon-BlogPhoto deem just and proper.

TRC, Bozman, and non-party, Joseph Krepela, entered into an exclusive licensing agreement granting TRC the exclusive right to manufacture Bozman and Krepela’s innovative engine shut off valves (the “Shut Off Valves”) on November 11, 1999. For consideration under the licensing agreement, TRC assisted with the design and completed development of the Shut Off Valves and provided employment to Bozman and Krepela. The licensing agreement did not limit TRC’s rights geographically and TRC’s exclusive right was to be in place so long as any patent rights of Bozman and Krepela existed in reference to the Shut Off Valves.

Bozman and Krepela were to put forth their best efforts in obtaining patent protection in Canada and the United States for the Shut Off Valves. Just short of four months after the exclusive licensing agreement with TRC was signed, Bozman and Krepela assigned their rights to the Shut Off Valves and the exclusive licensing agreement to JKKB. The very next day, JKKB filed for patent protection in the United States and Canada for the Shut Off Valves. The ‘053 Patent issued on August 14, 2001, with TRC holding the exclusive license to manufacture the Shut Off Valves.

 

Plaintiff exclusively manufactured the Shut Off Valves from 2001 until 2004, when it decided to outsource some of the manufacturing steps to Envacon, pursuant to the exclusive licensing agreement. Envacon, even before they began manufacturing some parts of the Shut Off Valves, had marketed and sold the completed Shut Off Valves for TRC and paid TRC’s parent corporation for TRC’s manufacturing services. TRC and Envacon operated out of the same premises from November 23, 1999 until April 16, 2011 and as such, TRC was able to maintain oversight, direction, and control over Envacon’s actions and involvement in manufacturing the Shut Off Valves.

Without giving prior notice, Envacon abandoned the space it shared with TRC on April 16, 2011. As TRC could no longer provide the necessary control and oversight over the manufacturing after Envacon left, Envacon was no longer authorized to manufacture the Shut Off Valves. TRC claims that Envacon, Bozman, and JKKB have all participated in the manufacturing of Shut Off Valves that infringe at least Claims 4, 14, and 15 of the ‘053 Patent or have conspired to deprive TRC of its rights under the exclusive licensing agreement. Plaintiff is claiming patent infringement against Envacon and Bozman, civil conspiracy against all Defendants, tortious interference against Envacon and Bozman, and civil conspiracy for tortious interference with a contractual relationship against Bozman and Envacon.

TRC of its rights under the exclusive licensing agreement. Plaintiff is claiming patent infringement against Envacon and Bozman, civil conspiracy against all Defendants, tortious interference against Envacon and Bozman, and civil conspiracy for tortious interference with a contractual relationship against Bozman and Envacon.

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The Supreme Court of the United States has affirmed the Federal Circuits’ Decision for the Helsinn Healthcare v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA case regarding “secret sales” as prior art under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”). In their Opinion, the Court held that given the pre-AIA precedent that even “secret sales” could invalidate a patent, the same “on sale” language in the AIA provisions should be given the same presumption. Further, the addition of the phrase “or otherwise available to the public” does not allow the Court to conclude that Congress intended to alter the meaning of “on sale,” but instead, means that 35 U.S.C. § 102 could be applied to other non-delineated situations.

us-supreme-court-building-2-300x200Helsinn Healthcare (“Helsinn”) produces a treatment utilizing the chemical palonestron to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. During the development of this product, Helsinn entered into two separate and confidential agreements with MGI Pharma, Inc. (“MGI”) giving MGI the right to distribute, promote, sell, and market a 0.25 g dose of palonosetron in the United States. While the dosage was kept confidential, the agreements were reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission. About two years later, in January 2003, Helsinn filed their provisional patent application covering a 0.25 mg dose of palonestron. Helsinn went on to file four patent applications claiming priority to the January 2003 provisional application, with its fourth patent application being filed in 2013 and being subject to the AIA. This fourth patent application led to the issuance of U.S. Patent No. 8,598,219 (the “‘219 patent”).

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. (collectively “Teva”) sought approval to market a generic 0.25 mg palonosetron product. Helsinn, in turn, filed suit against Teva for infringement of the ‘219 patent. Teva claimed that the ‘219 patent was invalid under the AIA because the invention was “in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.” 35 U.S.C. § 102(a)(1).

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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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2018-05-09-BlogPhotoIndianapolis, Indiana – Attorney Richard Bell of McCordsville, Indiana filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, David Brenton infringed its 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, attorneys’ fees, and any other relief as is just and proper.

Bell is notorious for suing over his copyrighted photo, having filed dozens of previous lawsuits against a variety of defendants across the country. In March 2000, Bell took a photo of the Indianapolis skyline, and has published it or licensed it for publication since that time. He registered the copyright for the photo in 2011.

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2018-04-30-BlogPhoto-1-300x56Fort Wayne, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, ASW, LLC of Columbia City, Indiana filed suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Frederick Bisson, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada infringed its rights in United States Trademark Registration Numbers 3,556,429 for “American SportWorks”, and 5,138,550 for “American LandMaster”. Plaintiff is seeking damages, attorneys’ fees, costs and disbursements, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, and all other relief just and proper.

Plaintiff is an Indiana-based manufacturer of recreational off-road vehicles, ATVs, UTVs, and go-karts. According to the complaint, Defendant is a Canadian citizen and the owner of the website www.americansportworksparts.com.

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South Bend, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Design Basics, LLC, Inc. of Omaha, Nebraska filed suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Miller Brothers Builders, Inc., of Goshen, Indiana infringed their copyrights. Plaintiff is seeking judgment, actual damages, temporary and permanent injunctions, and attorneys’ fees and costs.

Plaintiff is a Nebraska-based architectural firm that focuses on designing and licensing designs of residential homes. Defendant is an Indiana-based homebuilder. According to the complaint, Plaintiff owns copyrights protecting various architectural designs that it has created. One of the Plaintiff’s copyrighted designs is the subject of this litigation, specifically, a design titled “Waverly.”

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BlogPhoto-1Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Pearson Education, Inc. of New York, New York filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Christopher Deiter d/b/a www.easynotecards.com of Indianapolis, Indiana infringed its rights of Copyright in the United States Copyright Office of Pearson Education, Inc.’s Copyright Registration No. TX0008183299. Plaintiff is seeking relief under Title 17, Title 28, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, statutory damages and attorneys’ fees.

Plaintiff Pearson produces and distributes educational materials to schools around the world. They publish textbooks, assessments, test banks, and a wide variety of other learning tools for teachers and students.

Defendant owns the company at www.easynotecards.com. The website offers users the ability, at no cost, to create online flash cards that correspond to specific chapters and sections in educational materials. Users who have access to various educational materials will post flash cards replicating the materials on the website.

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Lafayette, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, The Trustees of Purdue University of Lafayette, Indiana filed suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendants, Omron Corporation and Omron Healthcare Company, Limited of Japan infringed its rights inBlogPhoto-4-300x170 United States Patent No. 7,014,611 B1 (“the 611 Patent”) for “Oscillometric Noninvasive Blood Pressure Monitor”. Plaintiff is seeking judgment, compensatory damages, supplemental damages and interest, and such other and further relief and all remedies available at law.

The ‘611 patent describes a small blood pressure monitor to be worn around one’s wrist or other limb. The patented item includes the monitor and a pump to inflate the cuff, among other details. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants have been infringing the patent by offering for sale numerous infringing blood pressure monitors that Plaintiff alleges “embody the apparatuses and practice the methods covered by one or more claims of the ’611 patent.”

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BlogPhoto-2Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorney Richard Bell of McCordsville, Indiana filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, River Pools & Spas Incorporated of Warsaw, Virginia, infringed its rights in the “Indianapolis Photo” registered on August 4, 2011 with the US Copyright Office, Registration No. VA0001785115. Bell seeks injunctive relief along with statutory damages, costs and attorney fees.

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

The Defendant in this case is River Pools & Spas Incorporated manufactures and installs pools and spas in residential homes. According to the complaint, the Defendant used the copyrighted photo on their business website, without permission or attribution. Plaintiff also claims that Defendant is vicariously liable for any profits realized by third parties through any third party’s downloading and use of the photo off of Defendant’s website.

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