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First off today, the Associated Press reports that H2M, a North Dakota-based advertising agency is suing over a TV show on Cartoon Network, claiming copyright infringement in a campaign that they created.
According to the lawsuit, the animated series “Annoying Orange” is a copyright infringement of a character they created for a series of TV ads, “The Talking Orange”, which was created for public service announcements for the North Dakota Department of Transportation.
The lawsuit, which is filed against Annoying Orange creators Dane Boedigheimer and Spencer Grove, alleges the two lived in North Dakota at the time the commercials aired and had access to them. They also allege that there are many similarities between the characters, including speaking with an annoying voice and the use of a superimposed live actor mouth over animation.
H2M is seeking damages and an injunction against the show.
Next up today, Robert Stanton at the Houston Chronicle reports that Houston-based architecture firm Hewlett Custom Home Designs has won a lawsuit against Frontier Custom Builders over alleged infringement of architectural works.
In a judgment entered on May 20th, a jury awarded Hewlett some $1.3 million in damages over allegations that Frontier copied several of their designs. However, Frontier called the decision a “bad verdict” and says that it is weighing its options to deal with it.
The verdict amount was based on the alleged profits Frontier earned from the infringements and the judgment also ordered Frontier to destroy any infringing materials still in its possession.
Finally today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that Prenda Law may have scored at least two minor victories as it has been able to bring an end to an identity theft case against it and exit two other cases successfully.
Prenda Law became a well known copyright “troll” for suing large groups of “John Doe” defendants accused of infringing copyrights on BitTorrent. Prenda would attempt to use the courts to get subscriber information from the IP addresses and send threatening letters to compel settlements. However, when some defendants fought back, it was revealed that at least some of the clients Prenda supposedly represented were actually shell companies for the attorneys themselves.
One of those shell companies, AF Holdings, listed an Alan Cooper as the owner. However, Alan Cooper, who was a caretaker for one of the attorneys, said that his signature was used without his permission. Cooper sued but that case has been dismissed as the judge could not prove any attempt to harm Cooper. It was ordered that Prenda not use Cooper’s name in the future.
In two other cases, Prenda Law has been able to dismiss lawsuits without having to pay attorney fees or face other sanctions. This includes the “Salt Marsh” signature case, where Prenda was unable to produce the original signature of “Salt Marsh”, a person (or entity) purportedly the officer of one of the companies Prenda “represented”.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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