Articles Posted in Unfair Competition

Pic1-300x273Marilyn D. Mintz of Northern California, had filed a Trademark infringement lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California alleging that Subaru of America, Inc., a New Jersey Corporation with place of Business in the State of New Jersey, infringed a phrase and design trademarked by Plaintiff.

Defendant Subaru, which has a large manufacturing presence in Lafayette, Indiana, ran an ad campaign with the slogan “Share the Love.” Plaintiff alleged that this infringed her trademarked phrase, “A World of Love, for You and Those You Love.” In the ad campaign, Plaintiff also used a graphic design showing a hand with a heart on it. Plaintiff alleged that this infringed a similar design she trademarked.

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BlogPhotoIndianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Klipsch Group, Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Audiosurplus, infringed its rights in United States Trademark Nos. 978,949, 2,917,215, and 3,863,511.  Plaintiff is seeking judgment, Audiosurplus’s profits and damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs.

Plaintiff is an Indiana-based audio equipment company that manufactures high-end speakers, headphones, subwoofers, and a variety of other items audio items. Defendant is an online retailer that sells audio equipment on Amazon. The three trademarks involved in this case are for the “KLIPSCH” brand name. Plaintiff sells its products across the country through contractually authorized retailers. Plaintiff is suing because Defendant is not an authorized Klipsch retailer, but has allegedly been selling Klipsch products through its online store without permission.

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Heartland-300x75Indianapolis, IndianaHeartland Consumer Products LLC and TC Heartland LLC, of Carmel, Indiana filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging trademark and trade dress infringement, dilution and unfair competition under the Lanham Act, the Indiana State Trademark Act, and the common law of the State of Indiana.

At issue are trademarks covering Splenda®-brand sweetener, which has been approved for use in over 80 countries and used in more than 4000 products globally.  In this Indiana litigation, Heartland claims that some or all of the following trademarks have been infringed: 1544079, 3346910; 4172135, 4165028, 4301712, 4172136, 4165029,4122311, 4187229, 4202774, 4230392, 4238101, 4106164, 4664653, and 4744600.  These trademarks have been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  In addition, Heartland claims ownership of the following pending applications for United States Trademark Registration Serial Nos. 86865337, 87012521, and 87010504.

Defendants in the lawsuit are DineEquity, Inc., Applebee’s Franchisor LLC, Applebee’s Restaurants LLC, Applebees-300x220Applebee’s Services, Inc., International House of Pancakes, LLC f/k/a International House of Pancakes, Inc., IHOP Franchising LLC, IHOP Franchise Company, LLC and IHOP FranIHOP-300x225chisor LLC.  Plaintiff asserts that all Defendants have a principal place of business in Glendale, California.  They are accused of leading customers to believe that they offer Splenda-brand sweetener when they do not.  Plaintiff contends that instead of American-made Splenda, the product offered to the customers is, in fact, “a lower-quality product of China.”

Indiana trademark attorneys for Heartland sued in federal court.  They assert:

  • Count I: Common Law Trademark Infringement and Trademark Infringement under 15 U.S.C. § 1114(1)
  • Count II: False Designation of Origin under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)
  • Count III: Unfair Competition
  • Count IV: Trademark Dilution under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c)
  • Count V: Trademark Dilution under I.C. 24-2-1-13.5
  • Count VII [sic]: Preliminary and Permanent Injunctive Relief
  • Count VIII: Corrective Advertising Damages

Plaintiff asks the court for injunctive relief, costs and attorneys’ fees.  They also seek various types of damages, including actual, statutory, punitive and treble damages.

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Bosch-300x122Hammond, IndianaRobert Bosch, GmbH of Stuttgart, Germany and Robert Bosch, LLC of Broadview, Illinois sued in the Northern District of Indiana alleging trademark counterfeiting, trademark infringement, false advertising and unfair competition.

At issue in this Indiana lawsuit are the following trademarks, which have been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office:





Mar. 12, 1991


pic 633,563


Aug. 28, 1956


Defendants in the litigation are Joshua Rayner of Portage, Indiana as well as ten unnamed “Doe” Defendants.  They are accused of “advertising, offering for sale and sale of counterfeit automotive parts” that bear unauthorized copies of Bosch trademarks.
Indiana trademark attorneys for Plaintiffs list the following claims in this federal lawsuit:

  • Count I: Trademark Counterfeiting in Violation of Sections 32 and 34(d)(1)(B) of the Lanham Act
  • Count II: Trademark Infringement in Violation of Section 32 of the Lanham Act
  • Count III: Unfair Competition in Violation of Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act
  • Count IV: False Advertising in Violation of Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act

Plaintiffs seek injunctive and monetary relief, including statutory damages, treble damages and attorneys’ fees.

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South Bend, IndianaJudge Robert L. Miller, Jr. of the Northern District of Indiana dismissed claims concerning trade dress infringement.

In this Indiana trademark lawsuit, Forest River, Inc. of Elkhart, Indiana sued Winnebago Industries, Inc. of Forest City, Iowa and its subsidiary Winnebago of Indiana, LLC alleging trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, unfair competition, false designation of origin, and false and misleading representations.

Overhauser Law Offices, LLC filed a partial motion to dismiss with the court, arguing that Forest River had neither sufficiently identified the features that constituted the claimed trade dress nor provided any factual support for its assertion that such features were non-functional.

The court noted that “to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678.  The claim is deemed plausible if “the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.


In this litigation, such a showing required that Forest River define its trade dress.  It must also plead sufficient facts to show that the claimed trade dress is nonfunctional, has acquired secondary meaning and that a likelihood of confusion exists between its trade dress and Winnebago’s trade dress.

The court agreed with Winnebago, concluding that Plaintiff had relied on “conclusory and meaningless” assertions in its pleadings. Consequently, it granted Winnebago’s motion and dismissed without prejudice Forest River’s claims concerning trade dress infringement under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §1125(a) as well as similar claims made under common law.

Overhauser Law Offices represented Winnebago in obtaining this successful order dismissing the trade dress claims.

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NCAA-300x202Indianapolis, Indiana –  National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) of Indianapolis, Indiana sued in the Southern District of Indiana alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition.

NCAA’s trademarks, which have been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office (“USPTO”), pertain to the following uses of FINAL FOUR and MARCH MADNESS:

FINAL FOUR Association services, namely, conducting annual basketball tournaments at the college level 1,488,836;

May 17, 1988

FINAL FOUR Promoting the goods and services of others by allowing sponsors to affiliate their goods and services with collegiate championship tournaments 2,377,720;

Aug. 15, 2000

FINAL FOUR Printed matter, namely, guides in the field of sports; Luggage, namely, portfolios, backpacks, duffle bags, rolling luggage, garment bags, briefcases, athletic bags and tote bags; and Entertainment services, Namely, providing information in the field of college sports via the Internet 2,964,266;

June 28, 2006

MARCH MADNESS Entertainment services, namely, presentation of athletic and entertainment personalities in a panel forum 1,571,340;

Dec. 12, 1989

MARCH MADNESS Entertainment in the nature of basketball tournaments between college teams 2,485,443;

Sept. 4, 2001

MARCH MADNESS Telecommunications services; namely the transmission of voice, data, images, audio, video and information via local and long distance telephone, satellite and global computer networks; leasing telecommunications equipment, components, systems and supplies; electronic mail services; telephone voice messaging services; providing multiple-user access to global computer networks to transmit, receive and otherwise access and use information of general interest to consumers; web casting of athletic games, tournaments, exhibitions, and events via the Internet 3,025,527;

Dec. 13, 2005

Defendants in this Indiana trademark lawsuit are Kizzang LLC of Las Vegas, Nevada and Robert Alexander, the founder and owner of the business.  They are in the business of providing nationwide Internet-based promotions that award prizes for predicting the results of sporting events.  Plaintiff states that they have branded their NCAA-related services using the mark FINAL 3.


Plaintiff further asserts that Defendants had planned to adopt APRIL MADNESS for the same services as FINAL 3, but that they delayed doing so upon learning that NCAA objected to their use of FINAL 3.  Kizzang has applied for federal trademark registrations for both marks with the USPTO.

Indiana trademark attorneys for Plaintiff contend that Defendants adopted both names because of their similarity to the marks used by NCAA and that Defendants did so with the intention of exploiting the goodwill associated with FINAL FOUR and MARCH MADNESS.  In this lawsuit, filed in federal court, the following claims are made:

  • Trademark Infringement Under 15 U.S.C. § 1114
  • Trademark Infringement Under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)
  • Trademark Dilution Under 15 U.S.C. § 1125
  • Common Law Unfair Competition

Plaintiff asks for various remedies from the court, including a judgment of willful and intentional violations of 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114, 1125 and Indiana common law; injunctive relief including restraining Defendants from further use of FINAL 3 and APRIL MADNESS as well as an order that the USPTO deny registration for the marks; damages, including treble damages; and attorneys’ fees.

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EconoLodge-Lafayaette-300x170Lafayette, IndianaChoice Hotels International, Inc. of Rockville, Maryland sued in the Northern District of Indiana alleging trademark infringement under federal and Indiana law.

Choice Hotels is in the business of franchising hotels.  It offers hotel and motel services under the following brands: CAMBRIA HOTELS & SUITES®, COMFORT INN®, COMFORT SUITES®, QUALITY®, SLEEP IN®, CLARION®, MAINSTAY SUITES®, SUBURBAN EXTENDED STAY HOTEL®, ECONO LODGE®, and RODEWAY INN®.

At issue in this Indiana trademark litigation is the Econo Lodge family of trademarks.  These trademarks include U.S. Trademark Nos.:

Indianapolis, IndianaAustralian Gold, LLC of Indianapolis, Indiana sued in the Southern District alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition.

Plaintiff Austbeachlive-248x300ralian Gold, which manufactures, distributes and sells tanning preparations, claims ownership to U.S. Federal Trademark Registration No. 5,130,366 for BEACHIN’ LIFE.  It states that it has used this trademark since “at least 2016”; the trademark was issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on January 24, 2017.

Defendant in this Indiana lawsuit is Devoted Creations, Inc. d/b/a Ed Hardy Tanning of Oldsmar, Florida.  Devoted Creations has introduced and is selling a #BEACHLIFE tanning preparation for the indoor tanning market.

Evansville, IndianaHenager Family Museum, Inc d/b/a National Veterans Memorial of Buckskin, Indiana filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging trademark infringement.

Plaintiff operates a military memorial in Indiana under the trademark “NATIONAL VETERANS MEMORIAL,” U.S. Trademark Registration No. 3,420,974.  That trademark was filed “in connection Veterans-300x126with promoting public awareness of the need for reconciliation and recognition by all veterans” and was issued on April 29, 2008 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

In this Indiana litigation, Henager states that Columbus Downtown Development Corp. (“CDDC”) of Columbus, Ohio is currently developing a museum, scheduled to open in 2018, to be operated under the name “NATIONAL VETERANS MEMORIAL & MUSEUM.”  Henager states that CDDC’s use of this name in a state adjoining Indiana, and in conjunction with the offering of the same type of services, is likely to cause confusion or deceive consumers.   It also contends that CDDC’s use of the purportedly similar name has resulted in CDDC being unjustly enriched at Henager’s expense.

Indianapolis, IndianaKlipsch Group, Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition by a “gray market” seller of Klipsch audio equipment.

Defendant in this Indiana trademark litigation is listed only as “,” as Klipsch indicates that the website’s proprietors “conceal[] their true identity from customers by using drop shipping addresses and registering their domain name through a third party.”  Jurisdiction in Indiana is asserted on the grounds that, inter alia, Defendant sells infringing goods in Indiana.

Klipsch contends that Defendant interfered with its intellectual property rights in three Klipsch trademarks.  The trademarks at issue are U.S. Trademark Registration Nos. 978,949; 2,917,215 and 3,863,511.  These registrations, which have been issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, cover various forms of the KLIPSCH® trademark.

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