Most professionals will be familiar with the type of solicitation involved in this lawsuit.
Defendant, based in Connecticut, sells customized plaques for people and companies that have been featured in newspapers or magazines. Defendant promotes its product by directly emailing (repeatedly) the individuals featured in the magazine/newspaper with a solicitation to purchase a customized plaque featuring the article. (See examples in the photo and Exhibit C below.) Defendant’s products consist of a scanned copy of the article and publication’s title inserted into an acrylic, wood or aluminum frame. Defendant has allegedly sold over 200,000 plaques.
Plaintiff, a long-standing Indiana publication focused on insurance agents, is one target of Defendant’s activities. Notably, Plaintiff also provides its own free high-quality reprint plaques to individuals profiled in its magazine. Plaintiff brings this lawsuit against Defendant based on the unauthorized use of its trademark and copyrighted materials, among other claims.
The Rough Notes Company, Inc. v. That’s Great News, LLC
Court Case Number: 1:2016-cv-00319
File Date: Monday, February 8, 2016
Plaintiff: The Rough Notes Company, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: David J. Carr, Paul C. Sweeney, Jana E. Harris of Ice Miller LLP
Defendant: That’s Great News, LLC
Cause: Copyright Infringement, Federal Unfair Competition, False Designation of Origin, Federal Trademark Infringement, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Federal Trademark Dilution, Common Law Unfair Competition, Unjust Enrichment
Court: Southern District of Indiana
Judge: Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Mark J. Dinsmore
Exhibit C (Sample e-mail solicitations):