Trademark/Copyright Infringement 90. BMI v. Quality Hotel and Conference Center , 2013 WL 2444553 (N.D. W.Va., 06/05/13). Plaintiff sued Defendant hotel for copyright infringement, alleging that Defendant caused copyrighted songs to be publicly performed without a license or permission. Defendant defaulted in the lawsuit. Plaintiff ’s allegations were sufficient for entry of default judgment. Unlike allegations of fact, allegations in the complaint concerning the amount of damages are not deemed true when Defendant defaults. The court thus ordered a hearing to determine the amount of damages to which Plaintiff is entitled. 91. J & J Sports Products, Inc. v. Orellana , 2013 WL 3341001 (E.D. Cal., 07/02/13). Defendant is a Mexican restaurant in a rural community with an estimate capacity of 80- 100 customers. It allegedly intercepted and exhibited without permission a championship welter-weight fight between Manny Pacquiano and Juan Manual Marquez III. Plaintiff, which owns the broadcast, sued for unauthorized publication or use of communications in violation of 47 USC Section 605, and Unauthorized Reception of Cable Services in violation of 47 USC 553. Defendant failed to appear in the lawsuit and so Plaintiff won by default on the liability issue. For damages, Plaintiff sought amounts in the high end of authorized ranges. For the 605 violation, statutory damages are permitted in an amount ranging from $1000 to $10,000. Additionally the court has discretion to increase the award by up to $100,000 if the violation is willful and committed for commercial gain. The court stated that awarding the statutory maximum is inappropriate absent “particularly egregious circumstances”. In this case the court granted statutory damages in the amount of $5,300 noting that although the restaurant was almost full, it did not impose a cover charge, did not increase food or drink prices, and Plaintiff did not allege that any patrons were there primarily to watch the program. 92. J&J Sports Products, Inc. v. La Bamba Restaurant, Inc. , 2013 WL 3270567 (E.D. Va., 06/26/13). This case brought by the same Plaintiff as in the previous case is very similar
© - Copyright 2014, Karen Morris, J.D., LL.M. and Diana S. Barber, J.D., CHE 30 fact ually. In this matter, in response to the court’s statement when determining damages that Defendant did not advertise the sporting event in question, Plaintiff asserted that Defendant may have used word of mouth advertising rather than printed promotions due to the illegal nature of the event. The court responded that it cannot make judgments based on mere speculation or possibilities. An additional justification given by Plaintiff for enhanced statutory damages is that piracy drives the price of licenses up for legal consumers. 93. CPC Properties, Inc. v. Dominic, Inc ., No. 12-4405 (E.D. Pa. 08/21/13). Plaintiff, the owner of the intellectual property “Crabfries” used the word “Crabfries” on its menus, signs and packaging to sell crinkle-cut French fries. Plaintiff filed a trademark infringement suit against Defendant, an unrelated restaurant, claiming that Defendant used
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