Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – Darryl D. Agler v. Westheimer Corporation

Alleged Infringing Product - Exhibit F to Complaint

Alleged Infringing Product – Exhibit F to Complaint

Plaintiff is a custom guitar-maker from Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has sold his high-quality guitars under the registered STRATOTONE trademark since 2007.

Plaintiff’s high-end guitars are “painstakingly hand-crafted from the wood of a customer’s choosing and features vintage hardware and pick-ups.” They generally retail for above $1,250. Defendant has allegedly flooded the market with lower quality, cheaper (between $200-400) guitars that bear the STRATOTONE Mark. Plaintiff discovered the infringing products at a NAMM show in 2010, where he confronted Defendant’s personnel.

Defendant, based in Illinois, attempted to file its own trademark application for STRATOTONE in December 2012 but was rejected based on Plaintiff’s registration. In response, Defendant has attempted to cancel Plaintiff’s registration and Plaintiff has brought this lawsuit.

Darryl D. Agler v. Westheimer Corporation

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00099
File Date: Thursday, March 27, 2014
Plaintiff: Darryl D. Agler
Plaintiff Counsel: Louis T. Perry, Amie P. Carter of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Defendant: Westheimer Corporation
Cause: Federal Unfair Competition, False Designation of Origin, Federal Trademark Infringement, Federal Trademark Counterfeiting, Common Law Unfair Competition, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Unjust Enrichment, Conversion, Deception, Indiana Crime Victim’s Relief Act
Court: Northern District of Indiana
Judge: Jon E. DeGuilio
Referred To: Roger B. Cosbey

Wounded Warrior lawsuit against Indiana Veteran transferred to Northern District

This case transferred in to the Northern District of Indiana from the Southern District based on venue considerations.

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00075-PPS-CAN
File Date: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Plaintiff: Wounded Warrior Project Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: John P. Passarelli, Maggie L. Cox, Matthew S. Noren of Kutak Rock LLP, Jessica M. Lindemann of Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Defendant: Help Indiana Vets Inc., Dean M. Graham
Cause: Trademark Infringement
Court: Northern District of Indiana
Judge: Chief Judge Philip P. Simon
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Christopher A. Nuechterlein
Notes: Case transferred in from Southern District of Indiana; Case Number 1:13-cv-01857

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Union Hospital v. Attachmate Corporation

Plaintiff has been licensing software from Defendant for about 16 years. In response to claims by Defendant that Plaintiff has exceeded the terms of the license (and a corresponding demand for $2 million in compensatory fees/damages), Plaintiff brings this action for declaratory judgment of non-infringement.

Union Hospital, Inc. v. Attachmate Corporation

Court Case Number: 2:14-cv-00045-JMS-WGH
File Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Plaintiff: Union Hospital, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Stephen E. Reynolds, Michael A. Wukmer of Ice Miller LLP
Defendant: Attachmate Corporation
Cause: Declaratory Judgment on Copyright Infringement Claims, Declaratory Judgment on Copyright Infringement Claims for Unregistered Copyrights, Declaratory Judgment on Breach of Contract Claims
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann, Jr.

Indiana Cybersquatting Litigation Update – Rieth-Riley Construction v. Superior Asphalt

Plaintiff and Defendant are competitors in the asphalt manufacturing, supplying, paving and maintenance business. Defendant purchased the domain name Rieth-Riley.net, which includes Plaintiff’s registered trademark, and used that domain name to direct traffic to their own website, SuperiorAsphalt.com. Defendant also offered to sell the domain name to Plaintiff for $10,000.

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 6.27.52 AM

Rieth-Riley Construction Co., Inc. v. Jeffrey Kresnak et al

Court Case Number: 3:14-cv-00280-RL-CAN
File Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Plaintiff: Rieth-Riley Construction Co., Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: D. Michael Anderson of Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Defendant: Jeffrey Kresnak, Superior Asphalt, Inc.
Cause: Federal Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition, Cyberpiracy
Court: Northern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Rudy Lozano
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Christopher A. Nuechterlein

Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – Noble Roman’s v. B & MP

This lawsuit involves a franchise arrangement gone bad. Plaintiff Noble Roman’s, an Indianapolis-based corporation, alleges that Defendant breached their Franchise Agreement by failing to pay royalties as required and intentionally misreported sales for the purposes of avoiding payment of franchise fees.

Noble Roman’s Inc. v. B & MP, LLC et al

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00206-WTL-MJD
File Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Plaintiff: Noble Roman’s Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Steven K. Huffer of S.K. Huffer & Associates PC
Defendant: B & MP, LLC, Leslie Perdriau
Cause: Trademark Infringement, Breach of Contract, Fraud
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge William T. Lawrence
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore

Indiana Trade Dress Litigation Update – KM Innovations v. Opportunities, Inc.

This is a trade dress lawsuit involving the product packaging for synthetic fiber snowballs. See the Complaint below for a description of the similarities and some really grainy comparison photos.

Plaintiff is based in New Castle, Indiana. Defendant is based in Colo, Iowa, which has a population of 876 and is named after a railroad official’s dog.

KM Innovations LLC v. Opportunities, Inc.

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00199-SEB-DML
File Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Plaintiff: KM Innovations LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Dean E. McConnell of McConnell Intellectual Property Law
Defendant: Opportunities, Inc.
Cause: Trade Dress Infringement, Unfair Competition
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – Chartreuse v. Chartreuse Fragrances

The Plaintiff in this Declaratory Judgment action is an Indianapolis-based LLC that has used the CHARTREUSE trademark in connection with “handmade soy candles” since January 2013.

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Defendant is a New Jersey-based LLC that owns a federal registration for CHARTREUSE in connection with “Candles,” with a date of first use in commerce in April 2002. Defendant sent a “cease and desist” letter to Plaintiff in January 2014 asserting their trademark rights. Plaintiff responded by filing a complaint for Declaratory Judgment of Non-Infringement, Unenforceability and Invalidity.

The Plaintiff asserts in their Complaint that Defendant has not used their trademark for over three (3) years, that the CHARTREUSE mark is descriptive and therefore not entitled to registration and that the claimed date of first use in the registration is inaccurate. If these things can be proved, Plaintiff may have a shot to invalidate the registration. However, in addition to counterclaims based on the federal registration, I’d expect Defendant’s Response to include a full slate of common law trademark infringement counterclaims based on their lengthy use of their trademark.

Maybe I’m in the wrong line of work. There must be good money in “handmade soy candles” if Plaintiff can afford to hire a big law firm to pursue federal litigation to protect a trademark in use for just over a year.

Chartreuse LLC v. Chartreuse Fragrances LLC

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00181-WTL-DKL
File Date: Friday, February 07, 2014
Plaintiff: Chartreuse LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Louis T. Perry of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Defendant: Chartreuse Fragrances LLC
Cause: Unenforceability and Invalidity of Defendant’s Mark, Non-Infringement of Trademark
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge William T. Lawrence
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue

 

Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – James Dean v. Twitter

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 4.21.44 PMHere’s a potential Giant of a lawsuit.

Plaintiff, James Dean Inc., wants the @JamesDean Twitter handle. Somebody else has been using the Twitter handle since 2009 as a fan account for the Fairmount, Indiana-raised rebel movie icon. The @JamesDean account has more than 8,200 followers and has sent over 2,200 tweets. CMG Worldwide, the exclusive licensee of James Dean’s name and likeness, unable to convince Twitter to hand over the account, are now suing Twitter directly in federal court to force compliance. Twitter looks set to put up a full defense rather than subject themselves to an onslaught of username complaints.

Stay tuned for what will likely become a precedent-setting case for dead celebrity Twitter handles.

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00183-WTL-DML
File Date: Friday, February 07, 2014
Plaintiff: James Dean, Inc., John Doe, One, John Doe, Two, John Doe, Three, John Doe, Four
Plaintiff Counsel: Theodore J. Minch of Sovich Minch, LLP
Defendant: Twitter, Inc.
Cause: Trademark Infringement, False Endorsement, Indiana State Statutory Right of Publicity, Common Law Right of Publicity, Common Law Unfair Competition, Unjust Enrichment, Conversion, Deception, Indiana Crime Victims’ Act
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge William T. Lawrence
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Indiana Cybersquatting Litigation Update – BidPal v. Intermediaone et al

Plaintiff, BidPal, Inc., owns a federal trademark registration for BIDPAL. Defendant owns several BidPal-formative domain names, including Bidpal.com, Bidpal.org, Bidpal.info, Bidpal.biz, Bidpal.mobi, all of which are GoDaddy parked pages. Plaintiff made several attempts to contact Defendant but was unable to reach him.

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Plaintiff’s Complaint makes an interesting assertion that, since Defendant owns all of the domains listed above, Plaintiff was forced to adopt ” the far-inferior domain name www.bidpalnetwork.com.” In the age of search, where bidpalnetwork.com ranks 1st on the Google search results for “Bidpal” and none of Defendant’s domains rank at all, do you agree that there’s such a thing as a “far-inferior” domain name? Or just preferred and non-preferred domain names?

Plaintiff may be hoping for a Default Judgment if Defendant doesn’t decide to defend himself. This case may also help determine whether Indiana courts will rule that “parked” domains can constitute cybersquatting. Stay tuned for updates.

BidPal Inc. v. Intermediaone et al

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00168-RLY-MJD
File Date: Wednesday, February 05, 2014
Plaintiff: BidPal Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul B. Overhauser of Overhauser Law Offices LLC
Defendant: Intermediaone, Intermediaone-AGB, Peter Peterre, Bidpal.com, Bidpal.org, Bidpal.info, Bidpal.biz, Bidpal.mobi
Cause: Cybersquatting, Trademark Infringement
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Richard L. Young
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore

Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – Al Reasonover v. Solarium

This is a trademark dispute over the mark “Tiki Tan” as used in connection with tanning salons. Both Plaintiff and Defendant are located in Indiana.

Al Reasonover v. Solarium LLC et al

Court Case Number: 3:14-cv-00235-PPS-CAN
File Date: Wednesday, February 05, 2014
Plaintiff: Al Reasonover
Plaintiff Counsel: Frank J. Agostino – Attorney at Law
Defendant: Solarium LLC, Solarium Bittersweet LLC
Cause: Trademark Infringement, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Injunctive Relief, Common Law Unfair Competition
Court: Northern District of Indiana
Judge: Chief Judge Philip P. Simon
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Christopher A. Nuechterlein