BlogPhoto-Chapelle-201x300Hammond, Indiana – Pro se Plaintiff, Xavier Gatewood (“Gatewood”) claims to perform comedy in the Chicago area. Between 2014 and 2015, Gatewood claims Defendant, David Khari Webber Chappelle (“Chappelle”), saw him performing comedy at one or more of four places located within two miles of Chappelle’s movie shoot for “CHI-RAQ.”

According to the Complaint, Chappelle then used material from Gatewood’s performance in Chappelle’s standup special “Deep in the Heart of Texas” on Netflix. As Chappelle was allegedly paid $20 Million and the joke was exactly one minute long, Gatewood is seeking $303,030.30.

Unfortunately, the very short Complaint does not disclose the allegedly stolen joke and does not disclose or specifically allege any copyright registration or infringement. Further, while Gatewood lives in Indiana, the alleged theft took place in Illinois and Chappelle lives in Ohio, so jurisdiction may be another hurdle for Gatewood. Continue reading

Hammond, IndianaMonster Energy Company (“Monster”), the Plaintiff, claims to be a nationwide leader in marketing and selling ready-to-drink beverages. Apparently, Monster launched its MONSTER ENERGY® drink brand including its ® mark (the “Claw Icon”) in 2002. Monster also claims it has used a distinctive trade dress for packaging, clothing, bags, sports gear, helmets, and promotional materials that use the Claw Icon in connection with the colors black and green (the “Monster Trade Dress”). Apparently realizing the importance of its brand, Monster owns at least fourteen federal trademark registrations that include the Claw Icon in various classes of goods and services (the “Asserted Marks”).

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BlogPhoto-2-300x179Evansville, Indiana – In 2004, the Coca-Cola Company launched its Full Throttle® energy drink brand, which was later apparently acquired by Monster Beverage Company (“Monster”) in 2015. Monster in turn divested the rights and title to the Full Throttle® energy drink line to its child company, Energy Beverages LLC (“Energy”), the Plaintiff. From that transaction, Energy owns multiple trademark registrations including the three at issue in this case, U.S. Registration Nos. 2,957,843, 5,562,250, and 5,722,956 (the “Energy Marks”). Energy also claims it has used a distinctive trade dress on its Full Throttle® products since 2004.

Apparently, Energy has licensed the Energy Marks and trade dress in connection with a variety of goods and services throughout the years, including sponsoring motorsports. Since 2015, Energy claims it has spent over $22.6 million dollars in promoting the Full Throttle® brand. Additionally, the retail sales of Full Throttle® products allegedly exceed 47 million cans per year, with estimated revenues of approximately $113 million per year. Therefore, Energy claims its Full Throttle® brand including the Energy Marks and trade dress have acquired great value to identify and distinguish its products and services from those of other, including association with the automotive industry.

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Patent No.  Title
D0926,292 Faucet
D0926,291 Faucet
D0926,144 Contact
D0926,104 Wheel chock
D0926,078 Buckle system
D0926,018 Knob
D0925,933 Banquette
11,074,802 Method and apparatus for automatic event prediction
11,074,674 Imaging noise reduction system and method
11,073,322 Modular heat transfer system
11,073,200 Embedded auxiliary oil system for gearbox protection
11,073,083 Particle separator
11,073,045 Turbine shroud assembly with case captured seal segment carrier
11,073,026 Turbine shroud assembly with multi-piece support for ceramic matrix composite material seal segments
11,072,162 Methods and apparatus for compensating for thermal expansion during additive manufacturing
11,072,096 Apparatuses and methods to mold complex shapes
11,071,831 Dose detection system module for medication delivery device
11,071,819 Valve drive unit with shape memory alloy actuator
11,071,666 Systems, methods, and devices for treatment of sleep disorders
11,071,636 Thoracic aorta stent graft with access region
11,071,535 Vascular anchoring introducer sheath
11,071,521 Internal ultrasound assembly with port for fluid injection
11,071,454 Identification of device location in healthcare facility
11,071,393 Apparatus for adding hospital bed functionality to an at-home bed
D0925,517 Communication console
D0925,306 Mattock tool
11,071,201 Method and apparatus for terminating an electrical cable to an integrated circuit
11,070,943 Systems and methods for identifying parties based on coordinating identifiers
11,070,290 System and method for using a solar cell in wireless communication
11,068,403 Data processing system for prefetching data to buffer entries and operating method of the data processing system
11,067,588 Medical analyte testing system and operating method therefor
11,067,509 Fluorescent microscope
11,067,029 Systems and methods for coupling a cylinder head to a cylinder block
11,067,015 Systems and methods for cylinder deactivation operation in response to route conditions
11,067,014 System and method for reducing engine knock
11,067,006 Gas turbine engine system with synchronization features for gearbox operation
11,066,973 Heating system for a tank header of aftertreatment system and method of heating a tank header
11,066,947 Turbine shroud assembly with sealed pin mounting arrangement
11,066,849 Adjustable decorative lockset rose assembly
11,066,460 Phage display vectors and methods of use
11,066,386 CGRP receptor antagonists
11,066,256 Grain bin powersweep with sump shaft aperture sealing cover plate assembly
11,066,249 Loading table roller brush assembly
11,066,247 Powersweep including gearbox shifter mechanism
11,066,051 Wheel sensors within vehicular brake assemblies
11,065,808 Methods and apparatus for compressing material during additive manufacturing
11,065,391 Automatic injection device with variable dosing
11,065,386 Automatic medication injection device with audible indication of injecting progress
11,065,368 Drug eluting graft constructs and methods
11,065,216 Compositions and methods for regulating body weight and metabolic syndromes
11,065,130 Expandable spinal implant system and method of using same
11,065,123 Compression resistant implants including an oxysterol and methods of use
11,065,103 Method and apparatus for fixation of an ACL graft
11,065,065 Spinal implant system and methods of use
11,064,987 Volumetric grafts for treatment of fistulae and related methods and systems
11,064,822 Snap together frame
RE048,635 ERK inhibitors
D0925,160 Cremation urn
D0925,032 Component for a drug delivery device
D0925,014 Handshower holder
D0925,008 Faucet handle
D0925,007 Faucet
D0924,983 Children’s ride-on vehicle
11,063,445 Multi-cell battery management device
11,062,707 Voice recognition for patient care environment
11,062,541 Automated architectural specification generation and hardware identification
11,061,482 Force sensitive input devices and methods
11,061,035 Charged mass labeling system
11,060,998 Nonlinear mass sensors based on electronic feedback
11,060,978 Methods of determining an analyte concentration in a body fluid sample having disturbance variables, as well as computer programs and devices therefor
11,060,959 Systems and methods for analyzing an analyte extracted from a sample using an adsorbent material
11,060,939 Diagnosing cylinder pressure sensor gain and offset
11,060,578 Conical spring washer, transmission system, and method of assembly thereof
11,060,468 Engine intake air system including CAC bypass and separate bypass heater, and high-efficiency spark-ignited direct injection liquid propane engine architectures including same
11,060,451 Fuel injector cleaning system, fluid, and method
11,060,434 Reductant injection in exhaust manifold
11,060,004 Adhesives and methods of making the same
11,059,504 Technologies for caddy assemblies
11,059,416 Electrochromic adaptive driving beam system and method
11,059,413 Retractable room actuation assembly for recreational vehicle
11,059,369 Diesel exhaust fluid tank venting system
11,059,359 Tonneau cover tie-down assembly
11,059,259 Composite core with reinforced plastic strips and method thereof
11,059,227 Print head for additive manufacturing
11,058,976 Valve-sensor assembly
11,058,805 Compositions and devices incorporating water-insoluble therapeutic agents and methods of the use thereof
11,058,554 Hard bearing inserter rings
11,058,495 Surgical system having assisted optical navigation with dual projection system
11,058,464 Interspinous process fixation devices, systems, instruments and methods of assembly and use
11,058,368 Distributed healthcare communication system
11,058,108 Stable high strength oil-in-water emulsions
11,058,092 Animal crate with swing or drop door
11,058,089 Soybean variety 5PVSQ69
11,058,055 Airflow for an agricultural harvesting combine
D0924,441 Beam
D0924,392 Component of a drug delivery device
D0924,391 Component for a drug delivery device
D0924,378 Non-return device valve member
D0924,371 Faucet
D0924,370 Faucet
D0924,366 Faucet
D0924,365 Faucet body
D0924,364 Faucet
D0924,358 Faucet sprayhead
D0924,170 Electrical connector
D0924,169 Electrical connector
D0924,035 Knob
D0923,965 Towel bar
11,057,722 Hearing aid for people having asymmetric hearing loss
11,057,240 Method and process for securing an executable image
11,056,838 Transceiver receptacle with EMI cage and bezel clips that provide high shielding effectiveness
11,056,329 ESI-MS via an electrokinetically pumped interface
11,055,386 Controlling user access to a medical system
11,054,318 System for nondestructive residual stress profiling using inductive sensing
11,054,114 Illuminating, spinning device
11,054,039 Seal runner support
11,053,962 Method and apparatus of plasma flow control for drag reduction
11,053,881 Hierarchical engine control systems and methods
11,053,830 Mixer for NOx sensor
11,053,828 Separately determining firing density and pumping density during firing density transitions for a lean-burn internal combustion engine
11,053,817 Turbine shroud assembly with ceramic matrix composite blade track segments and full hoop carrier
11,053,806 Brazed blade track for a gas turbine engine
11,053,801 Gas turbine engine composite vane assembly and method for making the same
11,053,646 Helicopter and VTOL aircraft landing pad information sheet
11,053,578 Removing coatings from ceramic matrix composite substrates
11,053,544 Corn event DAS-59122-7 and methods for detection thereof
11,053,511 Production of DHA and other LC PUFAs in plants
11,053,290 Modified Tamm-Horsfall protein and related compositions and methods of use
11,053,214 Compositions and methods related to pyridinoylpiperidine 5-HT.sub.1F agonists
11,053,003 Cyclorotor thrust control, transmission and mounting system
11,052,878 Manually-operable hydraulic stabilizing system
11,052,192 Disposable inserter and reusable inserter for accommodating a disposable inserter
11,052,153 Highly branched alpha-D-glucans
11,052,009 Device for adjustably supporting portions of a patient for surgery
11,052,008 Surgical frame and method for use thereof facilitating patient transfer
11,051,961 Deployment handle with stabilizing rail for a pre-loaded prosthesis delivery device
11,051,899 Surgical draping system and method
11,051,865 Fixation of bone implants
11,051,859 Spinal correction system and method
11,051,854 Spinal implant system and method
11,051,770 Patient positioning support structure

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BlogPhoto-1-300x196South Bend, Indiana – Apparently Egglife Foods, Inc. (“Egglife”), the Plaintiff, sell ready-to-eat wraps that are made with cage-free egg whites instead of flour (“egglife egg white wraps”). Introduced in 2019, founder Peggy Johns claims to have invented egglife egg white wraps, using a now patented method (U.S. Patent No. 10,194,669). Egglife claims its egglife egg white wraps are available in over 3,500 retail locations throughout the United States and have garnered a loyal following of passionate consumers. Since 2019, Egglife has allegedly invested $5 million dollars in the Egglife brand and is on pace to reach $30 million in retail sales in 2021. According to the complaint, Egglife products have a distinct packaging including a unique combination of shapes, colors, text font, a center window, and accent elements that act as a source identifier to its consumers (the “Trade Dress”).

The Defendant, Crepini, LLC (“Crepini”), was apparently founded in 2007 with “the dream of bringing crepes into every North American household.” Crepini allegedly sold its egg white thins products in at least three different packaging styles from early 2018 through 2019. Per the Complaint, Crepini owns U.S. Trademark Registration Nos. 5,888,044 and 5,447,364 for “Egg Thins” and “Egg White Thins,” respectively. Egglife claims Crepini rebranded yet again and announced an extensive packaging overhaul including changing the name of the product to “egg wraps” on January 1, 2021.

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The U.S. Trademark Office issued the following 161 trademark registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in July 2021 based on applications filed by Indiana trademark attorneys:

Reg. Number Word Mark
6434626 ZOOMERS RV
6432951 RAYBELLA
6432457 E3

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New Albany, IndianaChief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt for the Southern District of Indiana dismissed a patent infringement suit filed by Plaintiff, Eddie M. Green, Jr. (“Green”) in March 2020 for lack of personal jurisdiction. BlogPhoto-291x300

Green, who claimed Defendants, Ara Yavruyan and Chain Vault Inc., infringed on his U.S. Patent No. 9,940,796 for the “Yellow Fellow Safety Sign” filed his pro se Complaint in the Southern District of Indiana although he noted a California address for the Defendants.  In response, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss arguing improper venue, lack of personal jurisdiction, failure to effect service, and that the Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

In or around April 2020, the Court directed the Clerk to issue process, which was returned unexecuted by the United States Marshals Service (“USMS”) on July 9, 2020 as it could not locate the Defendants at the address listed on the Complaint. A second address was found and the Court ordered the USMS to issue process at the second address. On October 20, 2020, the USMS again returned an unexecuted summons, Complaint, and Order because it could not locate the second address for the Defendants. After being required to submit search evidence and a proper address to the Court, Green filed a Motion for Alias Summons which was granted on November 18, 2020. On November 19, 2020, having been served, the Defendants filed their Motion to Dismiss.

Over the course of one month after the filing of Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, Green submitted a Motion for Summary Judgment, a Motion to Strike Declaration, and five filings opposing the Motion to Dismiss.

When a Court is faced with a Fed. Rule Civ. P. 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, a plaintiff only needs to make a prima facie case of personal jurisdiction. However, “[i]f the defendant has submitted evidence in opposition to the implementation of jurisdiction, ‘the plaintiff must go beyond the pleadings and submit affirmative evidence supporting the exercise of jurisdiction.’” Additionally, the Court must employ a three-prong test to determine if there is specific jurisdiction: (1) the defendant purposefully directed its activities at residents of the forum, (2) the claim arises out of or relates to those activities, and (3) assertion of personal jurisdiction is reasonable and fair.”

Here, the Defendants claim neither reside or have any physical presence in Indiana or “continuous or systematic contacts with Indiana. Thus, the Court must use the three-prong test for specific jurisdiction. However, the Defendants claim they have no contacts with the state of Indiana at all and have therefore not availed themselves to specific jurisdiction. It does not appear Green was able to provide any evidence to the contrary and therefore, the Motion to Dismiss was granted.

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Picture1-2-300x188Indianapolis,  Indiana – Apparently the Plaintiff, Social Positioning Input Systems, LLC (“Social”), is the owner by assignment of U.S. Patent No. 9,261,365 (the “‘365 Patent”). The ‘365 Patent is titled “Device, System and Method for Remotely Entering, Storing and Sharing Addresses for a Positional Information Device.” Social claims Netsoft Holdings, LLC (“Netsoft”), the Defendant, has infringed on at least Claim 1 of the ‘365 Patent by making, using, selling, and/or offering for sale associated hardware and software for asset locating (the “Product”). For example, the Product may include Netsoft’s Hubstaff asset tracking platform and any associated hardware, apps, or other software.

According to the Complaint, the Product provides an asset tracking system for real-time GPS tracking of assets that the user can see on a positional information device (i.e., a mobile device or computer). The Product apparently allows an organization’s owner and managers to track their staff’s location, review their previous routes, and display time stamps showing where users were at a specified time along their route. Because Social claims the Product infringes on at least Claim 1 of the ‘365 Patent, it is seeking damages for patent infringement pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284.

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Fishers,  Indiana – Digital Verification Systems, LLC (“Digital”) is apparently the owner by assignment of U.S. Patent No. 9,054,860 (the “‘860 Patent”) for a Digital Verified Identification System and Method. According to the Complaint, Formstack, LLC (“Formstack”), the Defendant, offers at least one Product, Formstack Sign, that infringes one or more claims of the ‘860 Patent.

Picture5-1-300x211Digital claims Formstack’s Product provides a system for e-signing documents and for digitally verifying the identification of the signer as shown below.

Apparently, the Product further includes a digital identification module to be associated with at least one user and at least one verification data element, for example, a unique login ID and password. It also appears a user can store their e-signature within a document using the Product. As Digital claims each of these components of the Product are covered by the ‘860 Patent, it is seeking damages for patent infringement pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284.

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Indianapolis, IndianaDelta Faucet Company (“Delta”), the Plaintiff, is an Indiana corporation that is apparently known as “America’s Faucet Innovation Leader.” Delta claims its products may only be purchased in the United States from Delta itself, or its Authorized Sellers.  According to the Complaint, this allows Delta to control the quality of the products and protect the value of its brand(s). As Delta’s brand is important to the company, it has registered numerous trademarks with the U.S. Trademark Office including those in the table below (the “Delta Marks”).

Registered Mark Registration Nos.
Picture1-1 5,273,845
Picture1-1 2,583,761
                              Picture2-1 3,062,101
Picture4-1 2,586,604
DELTA 4,518,067
Picture5 0,668,880
DELTA 4,638,296

Delta has filed multiple infringement suits in Indiana this year to vigorously defend its intellectual property rights. E-commerce sales have exploded over the past decade and while online marketplaces have created opportunities, they have also apparently created a challenge for brand owners to control the quality and safety of their products. Further, Delta claims online marketplaces have a low barrier to entry and do not require sellers to be Authorized Sellers, meaning many unauthorized sellers with no relationship to Delta are able to sell counterfeit or lesser quality products online without Delta’s consent. This can lead to consumer reviews that associate the problem with their product “with the brand/manufacturer rather than the product seller.” Given these risks, Delta claims it imposes additional requirements on its Authorized Sellers who sell online, including only allowing websites that are operated by the Authorized Seller and not a storefront on any online marketplace. The website must also include the “Authorized Seller’s mailing address, telephone number, and email address” along with being fully inspected and approved by Delta.

Delta claims that due to the risks to consumers and reputational concerns, it actively monitors the online sale of its products. Over the course of this monitoring, Delta apparently found a high volume of products being sold illegally on Amazon by Defendants, Dmitrii Iakovlev and John Does, 1-10 (while the identities of John Does 1-10 are currently unknown, Delta intends on discovering their identities and amending its Complaint). Delta claims it sent multiple cease and desist communications to Defendants, but Defendants have continued to sell products bearing the Delta Marks on their “TechnoProffs” Amazon storefront. Additionally, the Complaint cites to numerous one-star reviews for the sales of alleged Delta products on the TechnoProffs storefront that were damaged and/or missing pieces.

Due to the alleged harm of the sales of unauthorized products bearing the Delta Marks, Delta is seeking injunctive relief and enhanced damages for trademark infringement pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §§ 1116 and 1117(a). Also pursuant to the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), Delta claims Defendants actions constitute unfair competition. Delta is further seeking damages for trademark infringement and unfair competition under Indiana common law. Finally, because Defendants have allegedly knowingly and willfully sold products represented as genuine Delta products when they are not, Delta claims Defendants have committed deception in violation of Indiana Crime Victim’s Relief Act, Ind. Code § 35-43-5-3.

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