Court Case Number: 1:13-cv-01849-SEB-DML File Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013 Plaintiff: Redwall Live Corporation Plaintiff Counsel: Steven G. Cracraft of Brannon Sowers & Cracraft PC Defendant: ESG Security, Inc. Cause: Copyright Infringement, Breach of Contract, Unjust Enrichment Court: Southern District of Indiana Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch
Plaintiff, Wounded Warrior Project, is a Virginia-based nonprofit that claims to provide comfort items to service members injured in combat. Defendant Help Indiana Vets operates an Indiana-based website (run by a U.S. Army veteran) that is critical of Plaintiff’s operations, asserting that “Wounded Warrior Project is a Fraud.” Wounded Warrior Project responded by filing this lawsuit in an attempt to force Defendant to change the website.
Defendant seems intent on fighting the lawsuit on behalf of “all Wounded Warriors” and is soliciting donations for a legal defense fund. Veterans, bloggers, free speech and anti-censorship advocates will likely be interested in supporting Defendant in this litigation but it will be an uphill battle since Plaintiff already has a team of high-powered attorneys.
Stay tuned for updates.
Wounded Warrior Project, Inc. v. Help Indiana Vets, Inc. et al
Court Case Number: 1:13-cv-01857-RLY-DML File Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013 Plaintiff: Wounded Warrior Project, Inc. Plaintiff Counsel: Jessica M. Lindemann of Barnes & Thornburg LLP Defendant: Help Indiana Vets, Inc., Dean M. Graham Cause: False Advertising, Criminal Deception, Defamation, Common Law Unfair Competition, Tortious Interference with Business Relationships, Unjust Enrichment Court: Southern District of Indiana Judge: Judge Richard L. Young Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch
Here’s another case involving misappropriated architectural drawings. Home builders, you should know by now that architectural drawings are protected by copyright law. If there’s a floor plan you really like, just pay for it! The price is beans (approx. $700-1500) against the cost of building a home.
Keystone Management Systems Inc. et al v. William Clyde Moore Jr. et al
Indiana’s first keyword advertising case is now set for trial. However, don’t hold your breath if you’re waiting for an answer to whether the purchase and use of a competitor’s trademark in keyword advertising is trademark infringement. The Angie’s List/ServiceMagic trial won’t take place for over a year.
On May 6, a Scheduling Order set a bench trial for October 6, 2014 (at 9:30 AM in Room #216, United States Courthouse, 46 E. Ohio Street, Indianapolis, Indiana before Judge Sarah Evans Barker). A settlement conference was held between the parties in February 2013 but no settlement was reached. Based on the importance of this question to the parties involved, I expect this case to go to trial, however long that may take.
In the meantime, you can review the Answer to Complaint and Answer to Counterclaims below. Stay tuned for updates.
DEFENDANT SERVICEMAGIC, INC.’S ANSWER, AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES AND COUNTERCLAIMS:
Here’s an interesting case involving a color trademark. Plaintiff Royal Purple, based in Indianapolis, owns several trademark registrations for the color purple in connection with high-performance lubricants. The Defendant, German-based Liqui Moly, is accused of selling lubricants with containers/packaging that is purple.
The Estate of Bette Davis et al v. Erickson Beamon, Ltd.
Court Case Number: 1:12-cv-01687-JMS-DKL File Date: Friday, November 16, 2012 Plaintiff: The Estate of Betty Davis, CMG Worldwide, Inc. Plaintiff Counsel: Theodore John Minch of Sovich Minch LLP Defendant: Erickson Beamon, Ltd. Cause: Indiana State Statutory Right of Publicity, California State Statutory Right of Publicity, Other Statutory and Common Law Rights of Publicity, Unfair Competition, Common Law Unfair Competition, Unjust Enrichment, Conversion, Deception, Indiana Crime Victims’ Act Court: Southern District of Indiana Judge: Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson Referred To: Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue
Plaintiff, Hospitality International Inc., offers franchise opportunities for hotel and motel owners. They own the rights to 5 brands, including Red Carpet Inn, Passport Inn, Master Hosts Inns, Downtowner Inns and the subject of this lawsuit, Scottish Inns. Defendant has allegedly been operating under the Scottish Inns brand without authorization since 2009. Defendant’s predecessor-in-interest had a license agreement (see below) but Defendant never entered into an agreement and allegedly owe back-royalties of around $29,000. After Defendant failed to timely respond to Plaintiff’s cease-and-desist letter (see below), this lawsuit was filed, claiming trademark infringement and unjust enrichment.
Stay tuned for updates.
Hospitality International Inc. v. Indiana Hospitality Real Estate & Management LLC
Court Case Number: 1:12-cv-00998-WTL-MJD File Date: Thursday, July 19, 2012 Plaintiff: Hospitality International Inc. Plaintiff Counsel: Michael R. Franceschini of Ayres Carr & Sullivan PC Defendant: Indiana Hospitality Real Estate & Management LLC Cause: Trademark Infringement, Unjust Enrichment Court: Southern District of Indiana Judge: Judge William T. Lawrence Referred To: Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore
Architectural drawings are copyrightable. In this matter, Defendant has allegedly used Plaintiff’s architectural drawings without authorization. Note that the court’s scanned copy is missing Page 9 (and many of the pages are askew), so there’s a third claim I did not reference.
Let me know in the comments if you’re interested in updates to this case.
Keystone Builders Resource Group, Inc. et al v. Kennis R. Went, Jr. et al
Court Case Number: 1:12-cv-00939-SEB-DML File Date: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 Plaintiff: Keystone Builders Resource Group, Inc., Lockridge Homes-Indianapolis, LLC Plaintiff Counsel: Paul Joseph Carroll of Mercer Belanger Defendant: Kennis R. Went, Jr., Jennifer S. Went, David Martin, Cassidy Martin, Dennis Vessels Cause: Copyright Infringement, Misappropriation of Trade Secret, Unjust Enrichment Court: Southern District of Indiana Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch
Century 21 Real Estate, LLC v. Realty Group I, LLC f/d/b/a Century 21 Realty Group I et al
Court Case Number: 1:12-cv-00862-WTL-DML File Date: Thursday, June 21, 2012 Plaintiff: Century 21 Real Estate, LLC Plaintiff Counsel: Patrick F. Moran of Gordon & Rees LLP Defendant: Realty Group I, LLC f/d/b/a Century 21 Realty Group I, Realty Group McCoun/82nd Street, LLC f/d/b/a Century 21 Realty Group, Kevin Kirkpatrick, John Dick, Phillip McCoun Cause: Trademark Infringement, False Designation of Origin, False Advertising, Trademark Dilution, Common Law Unfair Competition, Breach of Contract, Audit Demand/Accounting, Unjust Enrichment Court: Southern District of Indiana Judge: Judge William T. Lawrence Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch