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 – 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 Trademark Litigation Update – Sprint Solutions et al v. Reginald Aldridge et al

Plaintiff Sprint accuses three defendants of profiting from the illegal acquisition and resale of new Sprint phones. The Complaint is lengthy, detailing both Sprint’s business model and the Defendants’ alleged “Bulk Handset Theft and Trafficking Scheme,” in addition to fourteen claims. Presumably, in addition to civil penalties, the actions alleged by the Plaintiffs could also result in criminal penalties for Defendants.

Sprint Solutions, Inc. et al v. Reginald Aldridge et al

Court Case Number: 1:14-cv-00128-TWP-DML
File Date: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Plaintiff: Sprint Solutions, Inc., Sprint Communications Company LP, Boost Worldwide, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Matthew B. Millis, John D. Waller of Wooden & McLaughlin LLP
Defendant: Reginald Aldridge, Arrice Aldridge, Damion Transou
Cause: Unfair Competition, Tortious Interference with Business Relationships and Prospective Advantage, Civil Conspiracy, Unjust Enrichment, Conspiracy to Induce Breach of Contract, Common Law Fraud, Fraudulent Misrepresentation, Trafficking in Computer Passwords, Unauthorized Access, Unauthorized Access with Intent to Defraud, Federal Trademark Infringement, Common Law Trademark Infringement, False Advertising, Contributory Trademark Infringement, Conversion
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Tanya Walton Pratt
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Redwall Live v. ESG Security

Redwall Live Corporation v. ESG Security, Inc.

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

Wounded Warrior Project sues Indiana Veteran over Critical Comments on Website

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.

All Veterans Memorial

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

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Keystone Management Systems v. William Clyde Moore Jr.

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

Court Case Number: 1:13-cv-00735-SEB-DML
File Date: Monday, May 06, 2013
Plaintiff: Keystone Management Systems Inc.Lockridge Homes-Indianapolis LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Paul J. Carroll of Mercer Belanger PC
Defendant: William Clyde Moore Jr., Carol Cooper
Cause: Copyright Infringement, Unjust Enrichment
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Trial Scheduled for Indiana’s First Keyword Advertising Case

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:

ANGIE’S LIST’S ANSWER TO SERVICEMAGIC’S COUNTERCLAIMS:

Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – Royal Purple v. Liqui Moly GmbH

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.

images

Royal Purple LLC v. Liqui Moly GmbH

Court Case Number: 1:13-cv-00492-SEB-DML
File Date: Friday, March 22, 2013
Plaintiff: Royal Purple LLC
Plaintiff Counsel: Deborah Pollack-Milgate, Olivia M. Fleming of Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Defendant: Liqui Moly GmbH
Cause: Trademark Infringement; Unfair Competition, False Designation of Origin; Dilution; Common Law Trademark Infringement; Common Law Unfair Competition; Unjust Enrichment
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch

Indiana Right of Publicity Litigation Update – The Estate of Bette Davis v. Erickson Beamon

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 DavisCMG 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

Indiana Copyright Litigation Update – Sharon Chobat v. Dale Earnhardt, Inc.

Sharon Chobat v. Dale Earnhardt, Inc. et al

Court Case Number: 1:12-cv-01041-TWP-DML
File Date: Friday, July 27, 2012
Plaintiff: Sharon Chobat
Plaintiff Counsel: Theodore J. Minch of Sovich Minch LLP
Defendant: Dale Earnhardt, Inc.Smyle Media Consulting, Teresa Earnhardt
Defendant Counsel: Wayne C. Turner, Nathan Lee Lundquist
Cause: Copyright Infringement, Breach of Contract, Tortious Interference with Contract, Unjust Enrichment, Conversion, Fraud, Indiana Crime Victims Act
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Judge Tanya Walton Pratt
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Debra McVicker Lynch