Home » 2013 » January

Monthly Archives: January 2013

Recording Artist Who Sold 1.7 Million Singles Must Submit Affidavit to Support In Forma Pauperis Filing

Chriswell v. Big Score Entertainment, 11-CV-861, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jan. 28, 2013)(Chang)

Chriswell uses the stage name Eryka Kane, and apparently has been somewhat successful as she has sold 1.7 million singles.  Big Score Entertainment has begun to promote an artist under the name Arika Kane, and filed a trademark under that name as well.  Chriswell filed an Opposition before the TTAB and a trademark case in the Northern District.  When she filed the trademark case, she apparently lacked the $350 filing fee, and, in lieu of paying the filing fee, filed an in forma pauperis petition.  The Defendants moved to dismiss her action partially based on an allegedly fraudulent petition – in particular, how could she have no money if she has actually sold as many records as she claims?

Judge Chang refused the motion to dismiss.  However, he did require Chriswell to file a sworn affidavit summarizing how she is paying her attorney prosecuting her opposition before the TTAB.

Trademark Case Transferred to Southern District of Florida

American Academy of Implant Dentristry v. American Dental Implant Association, 12-CV-2935, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jan. 22, 2013)(Zagel)

Judge Zagel recited the 7th Circuit’s traditional test for determining whether a motion to transfer should be granted, in deciding to grant a motion to transfer to the Southern District of Florida.  In particular, Judge Zagel considered (1) the plaintiff’s choice of forum, (2) the situs of material events; (3) the relative ease of access to sources of proof; (4) the convenience of witnesses; and (5) the convenience of the parties.  Per the Court, “[t]he plaintiff’s choice of forum generally is given substantial weight when it is the district in which the plaintiff resides.”

In this case, the Defendant’s contacts with Illinois were tenuous at best, and the Court observed that personal jurisdiction over the Defendant would “by no means be assured.”  Based on this, the Court determined the factors merited transfer.

Plaintiff’s Attorneys Ordered to Pay Defendants Attorneys’ Fees in Copyright Case

Design Ideas v. The Yankee Candle Company, 10-CV-3217, Slip. Op. (C.D. Ill. Jan. 11, 2013)(McCuskey)

Design Ideas had originally sued the Yankee Candle Company for copyright infringement over glass sculptures sold by both parties.  The Copyright Office had previously determined that plaintiff’s sculptures were not entitled to copyright protection.  To make matters worse, plaintiff had alleged that it held a valid copyright registration.

The Court determined that, given that defendant had prevailed in the underlying case, it was entitled to its attorneys fees.  In addition, given the misrepresentation by both plaintiff and plaintiff’s counsel regarding the registration, at least some of these fees were to come from plaintiff’s attorneys.  Accordingly, plaintiff’s counsel were ordered to pay $10,000 of the $118,305 fee award, and were held jointly liable with plaintiff for another $10,000.

True Religion Apparel Sues Chinese Counterfeiting Ring

True Religion Apparel, which makes and sells extraordinarily expensive blue jeans, has sued a large number of web sites that it accuses of operating a large counterfeiting ring.  True Religion alleges that the “Defendants attempt to avoid liability by going to great lengths to conceal both their identities and the full scope of their criminal counterfeiting operation.”

More to come.  The case number is N.D. Ill. 13-CV-580.

Unified Messaging Solutions Files 24 Patent Suits in the Northern District

Unified Messaging Solutions filed 24 patent suits against various companies between January 14 and January 16.  The case numbers are:

2013-CV-266 through 278, 2013-CV-324, 2013-CV-327, 2013-CV-333, 2013-CV-337 through 341, 2013-CV-344, and 2013-CV-346.

The cases allege infringement of United States Pat. Nos. 6,857,074, 7,836,141, 7,895,306, 7,895,313, and 7,934,148.  The content of the portfolio appears to center on web messaging systems.

Malibu Media Files 4 Suits in the Central District Against 18 Does

In late November, Malibu Media filed four suits against 18 does in the Central District of Illinois.  The case numbers are:

2012-CV-2292, 2012-CV-2293, 2012-CV-3322, and 2012-CV-1493

Malibu Media Files 5 Law Suits in the Northern District Against 105 Does

These suits were filed in early December.  The case numbers are:

2012-CV-9719, 2012-V-9724, 2012-CV-9727, 2012-CV-9655, and 2012-CV-9656