New Albany, Indiana – Patent attorneys for Ligchine International Corporation of Floyds Knob, Indiana initiated a patent lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana seeking declaratory judgment of non-infringement. Defendant is Somero Enterprises, Inc. of Houghton, Michigan.

This federal lawsuit is in response to a June 2016 letter sent to Ligchine by patent lawyers for Somero. In this letter, Somero asserted that Ligchine was engaged in the manufacture, use, offer for sale, sale and/or distribution of concrete screeding machines containing a “Paver/Superflat Combo Screed Head that includes a powered roller option.” Somero contended that such conduct infringed Somero’s patent rights in U.S. Patent Nos. 9,234,318 and 9,353,490, which have been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Somero threatened litigation if the alleged infringement did not cease.

Ligchine asserts that it has not infringed either patent and asks the court for a declaration of non-infringement for each of the two patents-in-suit. It also asks the court to order reimbursement of its costs of the lawsuit, including attorneys’ fees.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – An Indiana patent attorney for VOXX International Corp. of Indianapolis, Indiana filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging patent infringement.

Plaintiff VOXX manufactures and supplies consumer electronics in the automotive, audio and consumer-accessory industry, including developing products sold under the Klipsch® and RCA® brands.

At issue in this Indiana litigation are patents that relate to overhead video units that can be mounted to the ceilings of vehicles as well as video units that are located in the headrests of vehicles. These patents have been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as Patent Nos. 7,653,345; 8,255,958; 9,114,745 and 9,348,368.

VOXX contends that Defendant Johnson Safety, Inc. of San Bernardino, California has infringed these patents, asserting both direct and indirect infringement.

In a complaint filed by an Indiana patent lawyer, VOXX asks the federal court for a judgment of infringement of the four patents-in-suit, injunctive relief, damages, attorneys’ fees and costs of the litigation.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Patent lawyers for Plaintiffs Eli Lilly and Company of Indianapolis, Indiana, Eli Lilly Export S.A. of Geneva, Switzerland and Acrux DDS Pty Ltd. of West Melbourne, Australia initiated patent infringement litigation in the Southern District of Indiana.

Defendants are Apotex Corp. of Weston, Florida and Apotex Inc. of Ontario, Canada. Both companies manufacture, market and distribute generic pharmaceutical products. This lawsuit was initiated in response to an Abbreviated New Drug Application submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval to market a generic version of Lilly’s Axiron®, a prescription testosterone product used to treat males for conditions associated with a deficiency or absence of endogenous testosterone.

Defendants are accused of infringing Plaintiffs’ intellectual property rights in seven patents: U.S. Patent Nos. 8,419,307; 8,177,449; 8,435,944; 8,807,861; 8,993,520; 9,180,194 and 9,289,586.

In a 28-count complaint, filed by Indiana patent attorneys for Plaintiffs, 21 counts of patent infringement are listed, including a count of direct infringement, a count of inducement to infringe and a count of contributory infringement for each of the seven patents-in-suit. The remaining seven counts seek declaratory judgment of infringement of each of the seven patents.

In addition to relief for the wrongdoings alleged in the 28 counts, Plaintiffs seek reimbursement of the costs and attorneys’ fees associated with this lawsuit.

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Fort Wayne, Indiana – Plaintiff Angela Brooks-Nwenga of Fort Wayne, Indiana, acting pro se, filed two intellectual property lawsuits. The two complaints, comprising hundreds of pages, include allegations of copyright infringement.

Defendants in these lawsuits, both filed in the Northern District of Indiana, are National Heritage Academies, Inc. of Grand Rapids, Michigan and “Bart Peterson’s The Mind Trust” of Indianapolis, Indiana. Bart Peterson, the former mayor of Indianapolis, co-founded The Mind Trust in 2006.

Plaintiff Brooks-Nwenga alleges that Defendant National Heritage Academies infringed her rights in “Transitioning Into Responsible Students” (“TIRS”), which has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office under Registration No. TX-6-628-223. Plaintiff asserts that she developed and piloted this program at Gambold Middle School in 2002 and that she owns the copyright.

The second lawsuit makes similar allegations of copyright infringement of TIRS against Defendant Bart Peterson’s The Mind Trust. Plaintiff contends that “Andrew Brown Education Model” and “Bridges to Success Model” are replicas of her copyrighted work.

Brooks-Nwenga previously sued The Mind Trust, United Way of Central Indiana, Central Indiana Education Alliance, Phalen Leadership Academies, and Indianapolis Public Schools asserting similar misconduct. That lawsuit, also filed in the Northern District of Indiana, was transferred to the Southern District of Indiana.

Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, damages and costs.

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The U.S. Patent Office issued the following 160 patent registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in June 2016, based on applications filed by Indiana patent attorneys:

Patent No. Title
1 D760,062 Addison lock escutcheon
2 D760,060 Decorative heavy duty door closer body
3 D760,059 Decorative heavy duty door closer cover
4 9,380,387 Phase independent surround speaker
5 9,379,313 Non-volatile spin switch
6 9,377,452 Method for monitoring the use of a consumable in a disposable design in one or more analyzers
7 9,377,373 System and method for analyzing verbal records of dictation using extracted verbal features
8 9,377,257 Systems for firearms
9 9,376,947 Hybrid valve for attenuation of low frequency noise
10 9,376,491 IL-17 antibody formulation and method of treatment using same

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The U.S. Trademark Office issued the following 212 trademark registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in June 2016 based on applications filed by Indiana trademark attorneys:

Registration No.  Word Mark Click To View
4988832 LINCOLN COVERED CHOICE TSDR
4988761 FIRE DAWGS TSDR
4988757 FIRE DAWGS CLEANING SERVICES TSDR
4988719 PERCEPTION STRATEGIES TSDR
4988553 DAWG SERVICES TSDR
4988483 BE MOVED BY OUR SERVICE TSDR
4988449 PETFIRST TSDR
4988319 QUICKSILVER TSDR

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Indianapolis, Indiana – A copyright lawyer for Plaintiff Antara Murdock of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania sued in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant Author Solutions, LLC of Bloomington, Indiana committed copyright infringement.

Murdock, who is also known as Antara Shaddod, contracted with Author Solutions in 2009 to publish his written work, “Journey to Consciousness; Who Am I?,” which included cover artwork created also created by Murdock. According to the complaint, these works have been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office under Registration No. TXu-001821785.

This Indiana litigation arises from a dispute regarding the artwork on the cover of Murdock’s book, which Author Solutions published and marketed for Murdock. Murdock contends that he was dissatisfied with the artwork as the cover for his book and that he relayed this concern to Author Solutions. The complaint states that Author Solutions had asked Murdock to sign to approve the final version of the book, including the art on the cover. In e-mails with the company, Murdock asserted that a signature, which related to the cover artwork and was purportedly his, was fraudulent.

In this federal lawsuit, Murdock contends that, by unlawfully publishing an unapproved draft of his book, Author Solutions “willfully used Plaintiff’s copyrighted Works without his permission and that it published, communicated, benefited through, posted, publicized and otherwise held out to the public for commercial benefit, the original and unique work of Plaintiff without Plaintiff’s consent or authority, and acquired monetary gain and market benefit as a result.”

The complaint lists a single count, copyright infringement. Murdock asks the court for statutory damages of up to $150,000, along with injunctive relief, costs and attorney’s fees.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – A Massachusetts trademark lawsuit filed in July 2015 was transferred to the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. Plaintiff Get In Shape Franchise, Inc. (“GIS”), a Massachusetts-based franchisor, alleges that Defendants TFL Fishers, LLC and its sole member, Rosalyn Harris; Thinner For Life, Inc.; and Fit Chicks, LLC, all of Fishers, Indiana infringed its intellectual property rights. GIS asks the Indiana federal court: (1) to order the discontinuation of Defendant’s infringement of its registered trademarks; (2) for injunctive relief due to breach of contract, unfair competition and breach of the covenant of good faith; (3) to order compliance by Harris of her post-contractual obligations.

GIS sells fitness franchises under the service mark “Get In Shape For Women.” Registration Certificates for Plaintiff are as follows:

MARK

Reg. No.

Reg. Date

“Get in Shape for Women”

Service Mark Reg. 3,374,173

Jan. 22, 2008

“Your treatment is complete”

Service Mark Reg. 4,241,902

Nov. 13, 2012

“Get in Shape for Women Small Group Personal Training”

Service Mark Reg. 4,249,694

Nov. 27, 2012

Plaintiff contends that it entered into such a franchise agreement with TFL Fishers and Harris in April 2013 for use in the Fishers, Indiana market. This agreement provided for payment to the franchisor of a transfer fee as well as a royalty on the franchise’s gross sales. Plaintiff contends that, pursuant to the agreement, Harris also agreed to various restrictions on her activities, including prohibitions on certain activities that would compete with GIS.

According to the complaint, Harris notified GIS on June 24, 2015 that TFL Fishers was discontinuing its franchised business and had closed its Fishers fitness studio. Instead, contends Plaintiff, it discovered on June 30th that the Fishers studio continued to operate but that it had changed its name to “Fit Chicks.” GIS alleges that this was improper. It also accuses Defendants of other wrongful acts, such as willfully underreporting total sales and, consequently, underreporting the royalty fees due to GIS.

Trademark attorneys for Plaintiff list the following claims for the Indiana federal court’s review and adjudication:

• First Cause of Action: Violation of the Lanham Act
• Second Cause of Action: Breach of Contract – Injunctive Relief
• Third Cause of Action: Breach of Contract – Damages
• Fourth Cause of Action: Breach of the Covenants of Good Faith and Fair Dealings
• Fifth Cause of Action: Unjust Enrichment
• Sixth Cause of Action: Unfair Competition

• Seventh Cause of Action: Fraud

Plaintiff seeks damages, including treble damages, along with enforcement of the franchise agreement, equitable relief, attorney’s fees and costs.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Plaintiff Richard Bell of McCordsville, Indiana sued Defendant Alliance Hospitality Management, LLC of Raleigh, North Carolina in the Southern District of Indiana alleging copyright infringement.

Bell, an Indiana copyright attorney and professional photographer, asserts that Defendant infringed his intellectual property rights in a photo of the Indianapolis skyline entitled “Indianapolis Photo,” which has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office as Registration No. VA0001785115.

In this Indiana litigation, which Bell filed on his own behalf, a single count of “Copyright Infringement and Unfair Competition” is listed. Bell asks the court to award the maximum statutory damages allowable, asserting that Alliance Hospitality Management has infringed willfully and “with oppression, fraud, and malice.” Bell seeks injunctive relief, damages, costs and attorneys’ fees.

Practice Tip: Bell is a frequent litigant in Indiana federal courts and has been discussed here on numerous occasions. See:

Attorney/Plaintiff Bell Files Three New Lawsuits Over Photo of Indianapolis Skyline
Eight New Infringement Lawsuits Filed by Attorney/Plaintiff
Attorney/Photographer Files Two New Infringement Lawsuits
Lawsuit by Frequent Copyright Litigant Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction
District Court Terminates Copyright Suit Over Photo; Plaintiff Appeals
Remaining Copyright Defendants in Bell Lawsuit to be Dismissed
Attorney/Photographer Sues Georgia Real Estate Company for Infringing Copyrighted Photo
Sovereign Immunity May Take a Toll on Bell’s Latest Copyright Lawsuit
Appellate Court Dismisses Copyright Appeal as Premature
Bell Rings in the Holiday Weekend with a New Copyright Lawsuit
Bell Files New Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
Bell Sues Georgia-Based FindTicketsFast.com for Copyright Infringement
Richard Bell Files Two New Copyright Infringement Lawsuits
Court Prevents Copyright Plaintiff Bell from Outmaneuvering Legal System; Orders Bell to Pay Almost $34,000 in Fees and Costs
Three Default Judgments of $2,500 Ordered for Copyright Infringement
Court Orders Severance of Misjoined Copyright Infringement Complaint

Richard Bell Files Another Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Plaintiff Newton Enterprises Ltd. of Kowloon, Hong Kong filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant Singleton Trading Inc. of Brooklyn, New York committed patent infringement.

In this Indiana litigation, Singleton Trading, which does business as Elama and Blue Spotlight, is accused of infringing U.S. Patent No. 7,568,720 (the “‘720 Patent”) for a “wheeled vehicle.” The patent covers a wheeled vehicle, such as a tricycle, that can be folded from an in-use position to a storage position for ease of carrying.

Newton Enterprises claims that Singleton Trading has infringed and/or induced others to infringe the ‘720 Patent by “making, using, offering to sell, and/or selling in the United States, and/or importing into the United States, a foldable tricycle that practices at least one invention claimed in the ‘720 Patent.” It lists as an example of such infringement Defendant’s “Zoom Bike.”

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In a complaint filed by an Indiana patent lawyer, a single claim is made: “Infringement of ‘720 Patent.” Plaintiff further claims that Defendant’s infringement has been willful and deliberate, entitling Plaintiff to enhanced damages in addition to compensatory damages. Plaintiff also asks that the court award attorney fees and costs.

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