Common Law Unfair Competition, Debra McVicker Lynch, Federal Trademark Infringement, Federal Unfair Competition, Jane Magnus-Stinson
This is one of those trademark lawsuits that really isn’t about the trademarks. The subject matter is IT training videos, which you’d more typically find as the subject of a copyright lawsuit. As you’ll see, savvy branding of those videos has allowed the Plaintiff to bring this as a trademark lawsuit, with all the accompanying trademark remedies and none of the formal requirements of a copyright lawsuit.
The Plaintiff, ITPro.TV, makes IT training videos. Importantly, the training videos display the Plaintiff’s logo in the bottom left of the screen.
The Defendants, Hope Training Academy and their individual owners, operate a computer-based training academy in Carmel, Indiana that offers various computer certifications to underemployed adults. Allegedly, the Defendants have been showing Plaintiff’s branded training videos without authorization and, to add injury to insult, they also insert their own “Hope Training Academy” logo on the bottom right of the video.
The parties were engaged in seemingly fruitful settlement negotiations as late as August 2021, with the Defendants offering to make a nominal payment of $29.99 per infringing end user, an unacceptably low fee by the Plaintiff’s calculations. The Defendants also represented that they are no longer using the Plaintiff’s videos but those assertions have not been independently verified by the Plaintiff. Presumably the Plaintiff’s patience with the negotiations simply ran out and they now seek the wisdom (and coercive power) of the Court.
Stay tuned for updates.
Edutainment Live, LLC v. Video Game Palooza et al
Case Number: 1:21-cv-02611-JMS-DML
File Date: Monday, October 11, 2021
Plaintiff: Edutainment Live, LLC d/b/a ITPRo. TV
Plaintiff Counsel: Donald E. Lake III of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP
Defendant: Video Game Palooza d/b/a Hope Training Academy, Richard Barretto, Cara Barretto
Cause: Federal Trademark Infringement, Federal Unfair Competition, Common Law Unfair Competition
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Jane Magnus-Stinson
Referred To: Debra McVicker Lynch