Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Keith F. Bell, Ph.D. of Texas filed suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendants, Lloy Ball, of Angola, Indiana, and USA Volleyball of Colorado Springs, Colorado infringed his rights in Copyright Registration Number TX-0002-6726-44 titled “Winning Isn’t Normal” (the “Infringed Work”) and his rights in Trademark Registration Number 4630749. Plaintiff is seeking judgment awarding damages, actual damages, profits, statutory damages, attorneys’ fees, injunctive relief, pre-judgement, and post judgment interest.
The Infringed Work was first published in 1982 and registered with the U.S. Copyright Office in 1989. Dr. Bell continues to offer for sale and market his book and derivative works such as posters and t-shirts with a specific passage known as the “WIN Passage”. He has offered and continues to offer licenses to those that may wish to publish or utilize the WIN Passage. The word mark “WINNING ISN’T NORMAL” has also been registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office with Registration No. 4630749 for printed matter.
Dr. Bell alleges that Defendant Ball posted a representation of the WIN Passage on his Twitter account on or about November 12, 2015. This post received at least 51 “retweets” and 201 “likes” from Ball’s over 2,000 followers. Dr. Bell also claims that Defendant USA Volleyball posted a representation of the WIN Passage on their Twitter account on or about November 20, 2015 that included a “retweet” of the post by Defendant Ball. This post received at least 30 “retweets” and over 7,000 “likes” from USA Volleyball’s over 123,000 followers. Cease and desist letters were sent to Ball and USA Volleyball on July 15, 2016 and April 21, 2017, respectively. Both Defendants removed their posts shortly after the letter was sent to Ball, automatically removing all retweets of the post. While the Defendants have acknowledged liability to the Plaintiff, they have not agreed to enter into a settlement agreement to protect the Plaintiff’s rights and compensate him for his injuries, leading to this suit for both copyright and trademark infringement.