Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – NextEra Energy v. Nextra Technologies

Plaintiff is one of the largest electric power companies in North America and owns 167 trademark registrations including its “NextEra” mark. Defendant recently began to market, manufacture, import, distribute, license and/or sell energy products and services—including wind turbine components, solar panels, lithium batteries, and integrated new energy systems – under the name Nextra.

NextEra Energy Inc v. Nextra Technologies LLC

Court Case Number: 3:14-cv-01941
File Date: Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Plaintiff: NextEra Energy Inc
Plaintiff Counsel: Matthew Farley of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Defendant: Nextera Technologies LLC
Cause: Federal Trademark Infringement, Federal Unfair Competition, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Common Law Unfair Competition
Court: Northern District of Indiana
Judge: Chief Judge Philip P. Simon
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Christopher A. Nuechterlein

Complaint:

Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – Property Damage Appraisers v. John Mosley et al

Property Damage Appraisers Inc. v. John Mosley et al

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-01490-RLY-MJD
File Date: Friday, September 12, 2014
Plaintiff: Property Damage Appraisers Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Derek R. Molter of Ice Miller LLP
Defendant: John Mosley, Clinton Body Shop Inc.
Cause: Federal Unfair Competition, State Unfair Competition, Defamation, Tortious Interference with Business Relationships
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Richard L. Young
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore

Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – Chanel v. Chanel’s Salon

From the Complaint: “Chanel recognizes the fact that “Chanel” is the first name of Defendant Chanel Jones. But this suit is not about Ms. Jones’ ability to use her name to identify herself. Ms. Jones is using CHANEL as a trade name for a beauty business and commercially exploiting the name CHANEL. There is no absolute right to exploit one’s given name commercially if such use is inconsistent with Chanel’s rights. In this case, Ms. Jones is not using her entire name but is instead only using that part of her name that copies Chanel’s famous CHANEL trademark. Ms. Jones’ use began long after the CHANEL mark was registered and became famous, and Ms. Jones’ use is in connection with services related to those offered by Chanel.”

Chanel, Inc. v. Chanel’s Salon LLC et al

Court Case Number: 2:14-cv-00304
File Date: Friday, August 29, 2014
Plaintiff: Chanel, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Gregory A Neibarger
Defendant: Chanel’s Salon LLC, Chanel Jones
Cause: Federal Trademark Dilution, Federal Trademark Infringement, Federal Unfair Competition, State Unfair Competition, State Trademark Infringement
Court: Northern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Theresa L. Springmann
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry

Complaint:

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

Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – Windstream Technologies v. Rambo, LLC

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Here’s yet another tale of a dealer relationship gone bad. Plaintiff, a California company operating in North Vernon, Indiana, is a wind turbine manufacturer.  Defendant Rambo, LLC, located in Madison, Indiana, was contracted to provide component parts and act as an authorized dealer of Plaintiff’s products in certain territories.

See the Complaint below for the Plaintiff’s version of how things went wrong. Hopefully for the rest of us these parties can sort their differences soon and get back to providing more wind energy for Indiana.

Stay tuned for updates.

Windstream Technologies, Inc. v. Rambo, LLC et al

Court Case Number: 4:13-cv-00180-SEB-WGH
File Date: Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Plaintiff: Windstream Technologies, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Matthew Wilder Lorch of Lorch Law Office, LLC
Defendant: Rambo, LLC, Rambo Montrow Corporation, Rick Keebler, Does 1 through 10
Cause: Federal Unfair Competition, Passing Off, Trademark Infringement, Breach of Contract, Interference with Contract and Prospective Economic Advantage
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann, Jr.

 

Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – Blue Martini Founders v. Russell Allen

Blue Martini Founders LLC v. Russell Allen et al

Court Case Number: 1:12-cv-01756-RLY-MJD
File Date: Friday, November 30, 2012
Plaintiff: Blue Martini Founders LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Kari H. Halbrook of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, LLP
Defendant: Russell Allen, Heritage Entertainment, Inc., Does 1-10
Cause: Trademark Infringement, Federal Unfair Competition,
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Richard L. Young
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore

Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – Noble Roman’s v. Village Pantry

Noble Roman’s Inc. v. Village Pantry LLC

Court Case Number: 1:12-cv-01252-RLY-DKL
File Date: Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Plaintiff: Noble Roman’s Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Curtis T. Jones of Bose McKinney & Evans LLP
Defendant: Village Pantry LLC
Cause: Lanham Act Trade Dress Infringement, Common Law Trade Dress Infringement, Federal Unfair Competition, Breach of Contract
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Richard L. Young
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue

Indiana Trade Dress Litigation Update – Mortar Net USA v. Masonry Reinforcing Corporation of America

Mortar Net continues its attempts to protect its “dovetail-shaped line of fibrous mesh products for use in masonry applications” (see example in Exhibit A below). Mortar Net’s counsel have a pretty clear hurdle to overcome in the “functionality doctrine,” which prevents manufacturers from protecting specific features of a product by means of trademark law. If a feature gives a producer a competitive advantage which is not related entirely to its function as a brand identifier, then it cannot be trademarked, regardless of advertising and promotional efforts. Such features are more appropriately protected under patent law. This is Mortar Net’s third filing of the year (see Related Cases below) and all have been assigned to a different judge, so maybe they’ll get lucky and find a judge willing to extend trademark protection to their dovetail design.

Stay tuned for updates.

Related Cases:

Mortar Net USA Ltd v. Masonry Reinforcing Corporation of America

Court Case Number:    2:12-cv-00252-PPS-PRC
File Date:    Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Plaintiff:     Mortar Net USA Ltd
Plaintiff Counsel:     Daniel W Glavin of O’Neill McFadden & Willett LLP
Defendant:     Masonry Reinforcing Corporation of America
Cause:    Trade Dress Infringement, Federal Trademark Infringement, Trademark Infringement, Federal Unfair Competition, Common Law Infringement Infringement, Common Law Unfair Competition
Court:    Northern District of Indiana
Judge:     Chief Judge Philip P Simon
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Paul R Cherry

Complaint:

Exhibit A:

Indiana Trade Dress Litigation Update – Mortar Net USA v. Hohmann & Barnard

Mortar Net USA Ltd. v. Hohmann & Barnard Inc.

Court Case Number:    2:12-cv-00215-TLS-APR
File Date:    Friday, May 25, 2012
Plaintiff:     Mortar Net USA Ltd.
Plaintiff Counsel:     Daniel W. Glavin of O’Neill McFadden & Willett LLP
Defendant:     Hohmann & Barnard Inc.
Cause:    Federal Trade Dress Infringement, Federal Trademark Infringement, Trademark Infringement, Federal Unfair Competition, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Common Law Unfair Competition
Court:     Northern District of Indiana
Judge:     Judge Theresa L. Springmann
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Andrew P. Rodovich

Indiana Trade Dress Litigation Update – Mortar Net USA Ltd. v. Keene Building Product Co.

Mortar Net USA Ltd. v. Keene Building Product Co.

Court Case Number:    2:12-cv-00148-JVB-PRC
File Date:    Monday, April 16, 2012
Plaintiff:     Mortar Net USA Ltd.
Plaintiff Counsel:     Daniel W. Glavin of O’Neill McFadden & Willett LLP, Michael H Baniak
Defendant:     Keene Building Product Co.
Cause:    Federal Trade Dress Infringement, Federal Trademark Infringement, Trademark Infringement, Federal Unfair Competition, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Common Law Unfair Competition
Court:    Northern District of Indiana
Judge:     Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry