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 – Rieke Corporation v. Riekes Packaging Corporation

Since as least as early as June 2000, Plaintiff, based in Auburn, Indiana, has continuously used the RIEKE PACKAGING SYSTEMS® trademark in connection with Plaintiff’s dispensing systems and closures. Around 2012, Defendant began using the RIEKES PACKAGING CORPORATION name in connection with glass bottles, plastic bottles, plastic closures, caps, metalclosures, dispensing closures and systems. Plaintiff has brought this lawsuit seeking damages and injunctive relief.

Rieke Corporation v. Riekes Packaging Corporation

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00241-PPS-RBC
File Date: Thursday, August 07, 2014
Plaintiff: Rieke Corporation
Plaintiff Counsel: Kurt N. Jones of Woodard Emhardt Moriarty McNett & Henry LLP
Defendant: Riekes Packaging Corporation
Cause: Federal Trademark Infringement, 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 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 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

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – National Photo Group v. Federated Media et al

This litigation involves the unauthorized use of celebrity photographs on a Fort Wayne country radio station’s website.

K105 Pictures

The lawsuit should serve as a reminder/warning to everyone operating a commercial website to only use photographs that:

  1. You own; or
  2. You have permission to use; or
  3. Are in the public domain.

This means going back through old pages and posts and removing/replacing unauthorized images. Failure to do this can result in expensive copyright litigation. If you have any questions about the photographs on your site, err on the side of caution and remove them until you’re able to properly determine ownership.

National Photo Group LLC v. Federated Media Inc. et al

Court Case Number: 3:13-cv-01405-PPS-CAN
File Date: Thursday, December 26, 2013
Plaintiff: National Photo Group LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Craig B. Sanders of Sanders Law PLLC
Defendant: Federated Media Inc., WQHK-FM
Cause: Direct Copyright Infringement, Contributory Copyright Infringement, Vicarious Copyright Infringement, Inducement of Copyright Infringement, Injunction, Attorney Fees and Costs
Court: Northern District of Indiana
Judge: Chief Judge Philip P. Simon
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Christopher A. Nuechterlein

Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – North American Van Lines v. North American Master Lines

North American Van Lines Inc. v. North American Master Lines Inc.

Court Case Number: 3:13-cv-00792-PPS-JEM
File Date: Friday, August 02, 2013
Plaintiff: North American Van Lines Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Edward A. Sullivan III, Daniel Tychonievich of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Defendant: North American Master Lines Inc.
Cause: Cybersquatting, Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition, False Designation of Origin, Common Law Unfair Competition, Common Law Trademark Infringement
Court: Northern District of Indiana
Judge: Chief Judge Philip P. Simon
Referred To: Magistrate Judge John E. Martin

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Malibu Media v. John Doe 12

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe 12

Related Case: Malibu Media LLC v. John Does 1-14 (Romantic Memories)

Court Case Number: 1:13-cv-00166-PPS-RBC
File Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe 12
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Northern District of Indiana
Judge: Chief Judge Philip P. Simon
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Roger B. Cosbey

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Malibu Media v. John Doe 5

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe 5

Related Case: Malibu Media LLC v. John Does 1-14 (Romantic Memories)

Court Case Number: 1:13-cv-00164-PPS-RBC
File Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe 5
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Northern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Robert J. Jonker
Chief Judge Philip P. Simon
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Roger B. Cosbey

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe 9

Malibu Media LLC v. John Doe 9

Related Case: Malibu Media LLC v. John Does 1-14 (Romantic Memories)

Court Case Number: 1:13-cv-00165-PPS-RBC
File Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Plaintiff: Malibu Media LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J Nicoletti of Nicoletti & Associates PLLC
Defendant: John Doe 9
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Court: Northern District of Indiana
Judge: Chief Judge Philip P Simon
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Roger B Cosbey

Indiana Judge: Dark Knight Rises didn’t infringe on CLEAN SLATE trademark

Judge Philip Simon has ruled that Warner Bros.’s “The Dark Knight Rises” did not infringe on the trademarked name of a computer security program, Clean Slate. As a brief recap, Plaintiff Fortres Grand, an Indiana corporation, has sold security software under the mark CLEAN SLATE since 2000. In Defendant Warner Bros’ latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman promises to obtain a software program called “Clean Slate” that will erase a person’s criminal history from every computer database in the world. This apparently caused hundreds of internet references for the fictional movie software, to which Plaintiff objected, prompting the lawsuit.

Nevertheless, Judge Simon has found no trademark infringement, focusing his opinion (full Opinion and Order below) largely on the doctrine of “reverse confusion.” I’ve provided a few excerpts from the Opinion below but you’ll want to read the full text for the Court’s complete reverse confusion analysis. The Court also rules that Warner Bros.’s use of the term “Clean Slate” is protected by the First Amendment.

There’s an obvious problem with Fortres Grand’s argument that this is a worst-case scenario of reverse confusion: Warner Bros. “clean slate” software only exists in the fictional world of Gotham; it does not exist in reality. This may seem to be a small point, but it has big ramifications for the consumer confusion analysis, which become apparent once you realize the argument that Fortres Grand has not made – and cannot make.

Here, there is simply no plausible claim that consumers will make “mistaken purchasing decisions” about the “tangible product” being sold in the marketplace: no one looking for Fortres Grand’s software is likely to mistakenly buy a ticket to The Dark Knight Rises.

Opinion and Order:

 

 

[View the original Complaint.]

Fortres Grand Corporation v. Warner Bros Entertainment Inc.

Court Case Number: 3:12-cv-00535-PPS-CAN
File Date: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
PlaintiffFortres Grand Corporation
Plaintiff CounselChristopher R. Putt of May Oberfell Lorber
DefendantWarner Bros Entertainment Inc.
Cause: Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition, Common Law Unfair Competition
CourtNorthern District of Indiana
Judge: Chief Judge Philip P. Simon
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Christopher A. Nuechterlein