Arizona Copyright Case Tracker – June 19, 2023

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Photography by Frank Diaz LLC v. Friends of David Schweikert et al, 2:2022-cv-01170 (filed July 13, 2022)

Here’s an interesting case with implications for defamation, copyright, and—of course—politics. David Schweikert, the Republican Congressman from Arizona’s 6th congressional district, won the Republican primary in 2021 for the newly drawn 1st District, which covers parts of Maricopa County along with the Salt River and Fort McDowell Yavapai National tribal reservation. But that primary came with its share of controversy, in part because Schweikert ran a campaign against primary opponent Elijah Norton that was openly homophobic. Among other things, his campaign circulated a photo of Norton with another man with the caption: “Elijah Norton isn’t being straight with you.”

The campaign’s use of that photo raised the ire of Frank Diaz, a photographer based in Seattle who also does business in Arizona through his company, Photography by Frank Diaz []. Diaz, through his company, alleged that he took the photograph during a 2018 Memorial Day event at Charlie’s, a noted gay bar in Phoenix. Without his permission, Diaz alleges, the Schweikert campaign copied and distributed the photograph in campaign ads, flyers, and assorted other media. The complaint [22-1179 complaint] alleges that in doing so, the campaign infringed on his exclusive rights in the photograph. (The complaint was most recently amended [22-1170 FAC] last month.)

The Schweikert campaign has just filed a motion to dismiss [22-1170 MTD], that defends on grounds of fair use. It’s likely to lead to a pretty interesting round of briefing, especially in light of the recent Warhol v. Goldsmith [] Supreme Court opinion. Political campaigns of all stripes are known to purloin music and photographs from time to time. When musicians call them out on it, they tend to prevail. For example, Eddy Grant recently won a case against the Trump campaign for using his 1980’s classic “Electric Avenue.” Grant v. Trump, 563 F. Supp. 3d 278 (S.D.N.Y. 2021). Don Henley also famously won a lawsuit against a Republican senate candidate back in 2010. Henley v. DeVore, 733 F. Supp. 2d 1144, 1148 (C.D. Cal. 2010). But photographers have tended to have worse luck. For example, in both Galvin v. Illinois Republican Party, 130 F. Supp. 3d 1187 (N.D. Ill. 2015) and Peterman v. Republican Nat’l Comm., 369 F. Supp. 3d 1053 (D. Mont. 2019), for example, courts found that it was fair use for a candidate to use a third party’s photograph, without permission in order to portray his opponent in a negative light.

Our guess is that the photographer will eventually get the best of the argument, especially in light of the Supreme Court’s recent narrowing of the fair use doctrine in the Warhol case. But either way this will be an important one to watch.

David Gary Barker, Rachael Marie Peters Pugel, and Zachary Gerald Schroeder of Snell & Wilmer LLP (Phoenix) are representing the photographer.  

Timothy Andrew LaSota of Timothy A LaSota PLC (Phoenix) is representing Congressman Schweikert and his campaign. 


Adams v. Netflix Incorporated et al, 2:2023-cv-00960 (filed May 30, 2023) 

This one has some decidedly wild facts. Some readers might remember The Puppet Master, the 2021 Netflix miniseries [] that told the story of Robert Handy-Freegard, aka The Puppet Master. Freegard was a con man who, posing as an MI5 agent in Europe during the 1990s and early 2000s, manipulated his victims into giving him their money. His only American victim was Kim Adams, a child psychologist when she met him after she moved to London. Her stepfather had recently won millions of dollars in the lottery, so she was a natural target. Eventually Freegard was arrested in 2003—with help of Adams and her family—and convicted in 2005.

This lawsuit [23-960 Complaint], just filed in May, lacks some of the intrigue of the underlying story, but will be worth following no less. The lawsuit was brought by John Adams, the natural father of Kim Adams. According to the complaint, one of the episodes of the Netflix series displays “prominently” a photo that he took of his daughter and Freeborn together at his home. As a result, the complaint asserts, Netflix infringed his copyright. (Now, as a side note, the complaint does not allege that Adams registered his copyright with the Copyright Office, which may be a challenge to the claim, at least until the registration is made. One to watch in any event.)

John A Griffiths of Anchor Law Group (Phoenix) is representing John Adams. No attorney for Netflix has yet entered an appearance. 

Barrett Financial Group LLC v. Source Capital Funding Incorporated et al, 2:23-cv-00387 (filed: Mar 4, 2023) 

This a declaratory judgment action that seeks to thwart, among other things, potential copyright infringement actions as well as takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA. The complaint [23-387 Complaint] (which has now been amended [23-387 Amended Complaint])was brought by Barrett Financial Group [], a mortgage broker located in Gilbert, Arizona, against a California-based portfolio investor named Source Capital Funding [].

The gist of the claim is that the California company has been targeting, through DMCA takedown notices and threats to sue, a series of websites run by the Gilbert company that hosted allegedly infringing content. (The lawsuit also targets an Arizona company called Search Control, which alleged carried out the DMCA takedown notices on behalf of the California company.) The Arizona company contends that it has no control over the websites as they are run by an employee of the company who is not a member or officer of the company nor has the authority to manage the websites on the company’s behalf. Thus, the Arizona company contends, it should be entitled to a declaration that it cannot be liable for copyright infringement and that it is entitled to compensation for the improper takedown of the websites.

The California company filed a lengthy motion to dismiss [23-387 MTD] in May. The gist of the motion was that the Arizona company knew that the California company was planning to file its own lawsuit in California—so it “raced to the courthouse” to file an earlier lawsuit in Arizona. In fact, the California case argues, it never alleged copyright infringement against the Arizona company; it was the Arizona company that filed DMCA takedown notices over the California’s content first; and the whole dispute arises largely not out of copyright but out of a series of false advertising and fraud claims that better belong in the California court. The motion is now fully briefed and is ripe for a decision.

Roger Alan Wright of Wright Law Firm PLC (Mesa) represents Barrett Financial. 

Andrew Jonathan Mase and Chris Pacetti of Ryan Firm APC (Irving, CA) represent Source Capital. 

Casey Dempsey and Mark Walter Horne of Degnan Law Group (Phoenix) represent Search Control. 

Biltform Architecture Group Incorporated v. Investment Development Management LLC et al, 2:2023-cv-00297 (filed February 17, 2023) 

Biltform Architecture Group of Companies LLC v. HCW LLC et al, 2:2023-cv-00307 (filed February 20, 2023) 

These two cases were brought within days of each other by the Biltform Architecture Group, a Phoenix-based architectural firm.

The first complaint (Case No. 23-297) [23-297 Complaint], filed on February 17, 2023, targets two Washington State developers, Investment Development Management, LLC, and IDM Apartments, LLC. According to the complaint, the developers hired Biltform in 2018 to design three planned residential complexes in Maricopa County. Eventually the companies went their separate ways before the projects were completed. But according to the complaint, the developers continued to use the plans anyway, in breach of their contract as well as in violation of the architecture firm’s exclusive rights under copyright law.

The second complaint (Case No. 23-307 [23-307 Complaint] ), filed on February 20, 2023, involves largely similar allegations but targets two different developers, Arizona-based Chandler Apartments, LLC and Missouri-based HCW, LLC. In that case, Biltform alleges that the developers hired it to do architectural plans for two apartment complexes in Maricopa County in the early 2010s but later used the same plans for two apartment complexes in the Phoenix area and another in Wichita, Kansas.

The developers in each case have moved to dismiss. (23-297 MTD here [23-297 MTD]; 23-307 MTD here [23-307 MTD].) The motions to dismiss in each case largely track each other (and were presumably coordinated between the defendants and their legal teams). In each case, the developers make the argument—very common in architecture infringement cases—that many elements of apartment designs are driven by functional demands or are essentially boilerplate across architectural plans. Thus, they argue, Biltform could not just allege copying of its plans outright, but was required to identify the specific unique elements of its plans that were copied. Briefing in No. 23-297 is now complete and the motion to dismiss is ripe for decision; briefing in No. 23-307 is still underway.

Jason Mario Bruno of Sherrets Bruno & Vogt LLC (Scottsdale) is representing Biltform in both actions.

The developers in 23-297 are represented by Bradley Anthony Burns of Dickinson Wright PLLC (Phoenix), while the developers in No. 23-307 are represented by Eric Edward Lynch of Polsinelli PC (Phoenix).

Grant Heilman Photography Incorporated v. Meow Meow Media LLC et al, 4:2023-cv-00240 (filed May 23, 2023) 

This is a complaint just filed at the end of May. Grant Heilman, whose website you can find here [], describes itself as “the world’s premier collection of agricultural stock.” The Pennsylvania company sued Spadefoot Nursery, a Tucson vendor of—as its website [] puts it—“native plants, domestic edible crops, and botanical curiosities.” The complaint [23-0240 Complaint] alleges that Spadefoot “copied a photograph in which Grant Heilman holds copyright and publicly displayed that photograph in order to advertise, market, and promote Spadefoot’s business activities.”

Joshua G Graubart, of Romano Law PLLC (New York City) is counsel for Grant Heilman.  

Spadefoot has not yet appeared in the action. 

Rosen v. JCK Enterprises LLC et al, 2:23-cv-00672 (filed Apr 21, 2023) 

This is a complaint by Barry Rosen, a professional photographer and frequent litigator. During his career, he alleges, he has produced photos “that have appeared in numerous magazine editorials around the world featuring celebrities, models and sports stars.” The target of his complaint [23-672 Complaint] is Pristine Auction [], a Phoenix-based sports memorabilia auction house. The photographer alleges that the auction house offered for sale signed prints of photos he had taken of Anna Kournikova and Jeri Ryan. The complaint was served at the end of April, but there does not appear to have been any other action on the case.

Matthew Lawrence Bycer and Michael Benjamin Marion of Bycer Law PLC (Phoenix) represent the photographer.

The auction house has not yet appeared in the action. 

W Chappell Music Corporation et al v. Fonzi Trading LLC et al, 2:23-cv-01024 (filed June 6, 2023)

Carly Simon has made an appearance in Phoenix, at least for judicial purposes. The famed songwriter and singer alleges that a local bar, Bleachers Sports Grill [], performed three of her songs—including the classic You’re So Vain—without a license. The complaint [23-1024 Complaint] (along with a companion exhibit [23-1024 Exhibit] listing the works), is joined by music publisher Warner Chappell.

Edward John Bressler Hermes and Zachary Gerald Schroeder of Snell & Wilmer LLP (Phoenix) are representing Ms. Simon and Warner Chappell. 

The bar’s owner and operating LLC have not yet appeared in the action. 


New Parent World LLC v. True to Life Productions Incorporated et al, 3:2023-cv-08089 

This is a new lawsuit brought by My Baby Experts, a New Jersey company that offers online courses [] about parenting. The complaint [23-8089 complaint], filed on May 19, takes aim at True to Life Productions [], a company based in Navajo Country that also produces parenting educational videos. The New Jersey company alleges that the Arizona company purloined its videos, removed its copyright notices, created “infringing knockoff videos,” and then marketed those videos “in direct competition with My Baby Experts.” The lawsuit brings an extensive number of claims, including copyright infringement, violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, breach of contract, and a series of Lanham Act and unfair competition allegations.

David J Johns and Monica Mihaela Pertea of Aspey Watkins & Diesel PLLC (Flagstaff) represent the New Jersey company.  

The Arizona company has not yet appeared in the action. 

Wolf Designs LLC v. Five 18 Designs LLC et al, 2:2021-cv-01789 (filed Oct 22, 2021) 

This is a dispute between two Phoenix-area companies that sell “vehicle wraps,” which are essentially large vinyl graphics or decals that customers can use to modify the look of automobiles. One of them, Wolf Designs [], came to believe that the other, Five18 Designs [], was purloining some of its designs. So Wolf brought a complaint [21-1789 Complaint] in 2021 against Five18 for copyright infringement, trademark infringement, unfair competition, and tortious interference.

The trademark, unfair competition, and tortious interference have all been whittled out of the case (in opinions here [21-1789 Order on Judgment on Pleadings] and here [21-1789 Order on MTD]), but the copyright claims proceed. Those copyright claims, too, have been narrowed since the case began. Wolf initially alleged that Five18 infringed three of its designs on three different dates, but one of those dates was more than three years before the date of the complaint, so it was barred by the statute of limitations. However, the court’s ruling also made clear that Wolf could seek statutory damages as a remedy in the case, even though it had registered the works as part of a group as opposed to individually. (Registration prior to the alleged act of infringement is a prerequisite to obtaining statutory damages.) Though little caselaw addressed the specific question, the court noted, there was no reason to consider group registration any differently than any other registration.

The parties appear to now be in the early phases of discovery on the remaining copyright claims.

Alexandra Mijares Nash and Gregory W Seibt of Rutila Seibt & Nash PLLC (Scottsdale) and Heather Sapp (Phoenix) are representing Wolf.

Bert Daniel Millett and Ralph Anthony Caliendo of Orangewood Law Group PLC (Mesa) are representing Five18.

Fornix Holdings LLC et al v. Unknown Party, 2:2022-cv-00494 (filed April 22, 2022)

Fornix Holdings LLC et al v. Pepin, 2:2022-cv-01275 (filed July 29, 2022)

Fornix Holdings LLC et al v. Unknown Party et al, 2:22-cv-01942 (filed Nov 15, 2022)

Fornix Holdings LLC et al v. Unknown Party et al, 2:2023-cv-00309 (filed February 21, 2023)

This one is not for the faint of heart. CP Productions is an Arizona company that creates pornographic movies hosted on what it describes as “a highly acclaimed membership-based adult website.” (Readers of this blog will have to look it up for themselves—it is decidedly not family-friendly). Fornix is an Arizona company that was created to own and manage the copyrights to CP Productions’ works.

Since 2022, Fornix and CP have brought three different copyright infringement lawsuits in Arizona courts. Each of them appears to have been a so-far fruitless efforts to track down and seize the profits of various people (some known, others named as “John Doe” parties) who have allegedly been downloading the companies’ entire cinematic collection and marketing it out to other consumers as their own. In addition to naming the three individual pirates, the production companies also target a wide range of legitimate companies who, through webhosting, content delivery and payment taking services, are alleged to have been accomplices in the infringement.

In the first lawsuit (22-494) [22-494 amended complaint], the porn merchants sued an anonymous pirate (who eventually turned out to be a Turkish resident) along with web hosting service companies NameCheap and Cloudfare. While the pirate himself managed to avoid service, the court entered an order [22-494 TRO Order] in May 2022 that required NameCheap and Cloudflare to disable the pirate’s access to the internet through their networks. (The court’s order, by Phoenix District Judge Rayes, could not help adding a couple cheeky puns, noting that the pirate  “snatched” images from the companies’ websites, “expos[ed]” those works on its own site, allowed viewers to “peep[]” those works, and reaped “ill-gotten booty” from his conduct.”) Several other procedural events took place, including a number of amended complaints, the addition and then dismissal of Google, and a still-pending motion to default the original Turkish defendant for non-appearance. It doesn’t appear that there has been much action in that case since February of this year.

In the second lawsuit (22-1279) [22-1279 Complaint], the same companies sued a Canadian resident in July 2022 for largely the same conduct. That one ended without much of a fuss as the Canadian never showed. A motion for default judgment is presently pending against him.

In the third lawsuit (22-1942) [22-1942 Complaint], the companies sued another series of John Doe parties along with Cloudflare, NameCheap, and Google. Default judgment was entered against the Does, and the case was dropped against NameCheap and Google. CloudFlare remains as a defendant in the action.

Finally, in the fourth lawsuit (23-309) [23-309 Complaint], the companies sued yet another series of John Doe parties along with Cloudflare and other service providers, domain registry provider Verisign. The court entered [23-309 PI Order] a preliminary injunction ordering the service providers to disable the pirates, an injunction that in April of this year was extended [23-309 PI Order 2] to cover non-profit Public Interest Registry as well. The parties have been involved in procedural wrangling since.

David D Lin of Brooklyn-based Lewis & Lin LLC is representing the plaintiffs.  

Mario Carmelo Vasta and Todd Stephen Kartchner, of Fennemore Craig PC (Phoenix), represented Namecheap in the 22-1279 and 22-1942 actions.

Steven Callahan, of Charhon Callahan Robson & Garza PLLC (Dallas) represents Cloudflare in the 22-1279, 22-1942, and 23-0309 actions.

George Chun Chen and Jacob Alexander Maskovich of Bryan Cave LLP (Phoenix) represented Google in the 22-1942 action.

David Jeremy Bodney of Ballard Spahr LLP (Phoenix) represented Public Interest Registry in the 23-0309 case.

Wareka v. Scalpa Incorporated et al, 2:2023-cv-00290 (filed Feb. 15, 2023)

This is a lawsuit brought by Tamara Wareka, a California-based photographer. Based on a brief docket search, it appears that this is one of many infringement lawsuits that Ms. Wareka (who goes by her profession Tamara Williams []) has filed in recent months in various districts. In this complaint [23-290 Complaint], the photographer alleges that an Arizona cosmetics company, Scalpa [], purloined one of her photographs for its Facebook page. As of this writing, the complaint has not yet been served, but the court has granted the photographer additional time to do so.

Melissa Ann Higbee, Higbee & Associates (Santa Ana, CA) represents Ms. Wareka. Scalpa has not yet appeared in the action.


Broadcast Music Incorporated et al v. Go Irish Holdings LLC et al, 2:2023-cv-00573 (filed April 5, 2023)

Broadcast Music Incorporated et al v. Windsock LLC et al, 3:2023-cv-08022 (filed February 1, 2023)

These are two short-lived complaints by Broadcast Music Inc., one of the two main entities (ASCAP is the other) that license bars and restaurants to play music. The complaints (23-573 here [23-573 Complaint]23-8022 here [23-8022 Complaint]) were filed earlier this year against the owners and operators of two bars, the Mountain View Pub in Cave Creek (through its owner, Go Irish Holdings) and the Windsock Cocktail Lounge in Prescott (through its owner, Windsock Holdings LLC). In each case, the music licensing entity contends that the bars repeatedly failed to acquire licenses.

The Windsock Cocktail Lounge never responded to the complaint and the clerk entered a default on May 12. The case against the Mountain View Pub was settled and dismissed on May 19.

Mark Deatherage of the Law Office of Mark Deatherage represented BMI in the two cases.

Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corporation v. Orion Structure LLC et al, 3:22-cv-08240 (filed Dec 22, 2022)

This is a lawsuit by SolidWorks [], a Massachusetts-based corporation that creates computer-aided design software. Its complaint [22-8240 complaint] asserted that a Flagstaff-based single-member LLC called Orion Structure used its software without a license on more than 100 occasions. Its lawsuit claims copyright infringement, violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and breach of contract. The lawsuit was shortly thereafter voluntarily dismissed, for unknown reasons.

Alexander Panos Valentine and Patricia V Waterkotte of Rusing Lopez & Lizardi PLLC (Tucson) represented SolidWorks in the action.

Pearson v. Pearson et al, 2:2023-cv-00789 (filed May 5, 2023)

This lawsuit didn’t last long—it filed on May 5 and was voluntarily dismissed on May 19. The complaint [23-789 complaint] was brought by Nathan Pearson, a Tulsa-based software and internet website designer with experience in developing custom websites. The complaint takes aim at Gary and Irene Pearson, a husband and wife who live in Chandler and operate The Russian Store, the self-styled—according to its website []—”premiere retailer of authentic, hand-made, Russian nesting dolls, matryoshka, amber jewelry, Russian eggs, glass figurines and more.”

According to the complaint, Nathan developed a website for the Russian Store but the parties then “had a falling out, became estranged, and ended their relationship to the point where they were, and still are no longer on speaking terms.” (One can presume this is some sort of family squabble here.) In any event, the complaint asserts, the Pearsons then reached out to the web host provider, gained access to Nathan’s account, locked him out of it, and then modified the software he had designed to run the story.

The complaint, which alleges copyright infringement, was voluntarily dismissed by Nathan two weeks after filing. (This may have been because the work at issue, the complaint acknowledges, was not fully registered at the time of filing.)

Lance Venable, Law Office of Lance C Venable PLLC (Chandler) represented Nathan Pearson.

Fowler v. T-Mobile USA Incorporated et al, :20-cv-01516 (filed Jul 30, 2020)

The is a pro se case filed by JaMarlin Fowler, a California resident and owner of a production company called Visual Fire Media []. This unusual complaint [20-1516 Complaint] alleges that his ex-girlfriend stole his phone—which contained, among other things copyrighted screenplays, video clips, and photos that he created as part of his business. When the ex-girlfriend exchanged it for another one at a Sprint (now T-Mobile) store, Sprint copied his information from the one phone to another—thus constituting copyright infringement.

An arbitrator ruled [20-1516 Arbitrator award] against the California resident, though not on the merits of the copyright claim, but rather because of his failure to submit the claim to arbitration—as required by his contract with Sprint—within the time specified under the agreement. The court confirmed the award in February 2023, thus dismissing the case.

Sony Music Entertainment et al v. Trefuego, 2:2022-cv-02170 (filed Dec 22, 2022)

Here’s another interesting one that landed in our courts, although it had only a short stay. Trefuego is an Arizona-based rapper (you can see his website here []). In 2019, he independently released a song called “90mh”  that became an instant viral hit (including over 10 million plays on YouTube alone). But Sony Music was not a fan. Trefuego’s song, Sony contended, blatantly sampled from a 1986 song called Reflections, released by Japanese composer Toshifumi Hinata. Beginning in 2022, Sony took widespread action against the song, issuing takedown notices to social media sites as part of what one writer called [] “a bid to scrub it from the internet.” And then, at the end of 2022, Sony filed this [22-2170 Complaint] lawsuit for copyright infringement against Trefuego.

But the lawsuit was not long on the docket. The court issued a summons on December 22, the day of the complaint’s filing. The next entry, in March 2023, is Sony’s notice of voluntary dismissal. The dismissal is without prejudice, suggesting that it was not the result of a settlement. A review of dockets around the country shows no evidence that the case was filed in any other jurisdiction. Sony’s reasons for the withdrawal will have to remain a mystery for now.

Anisha Shenai-Khatkhate, David A. Munkittrick, Proskauer Rose LLP (New York, NY), Sandra A. Crawshaw-Sparks, Proskauer Rose LLP (Los Angeles, CA),
Nathan J Kunz, Samuel G Coppersmith, Coppersmith Brockelman PLC (Phoenix) represented Sony. 

Stokes v. Wileyman Enterprises LLC, 2:2023-cv-00564 (filed Apr 4, 2023) 

This is a lawsuit that appears to have settled quickly. Michael Stokes [] is a California photographer who focuses on work with wounded veterans and, in his words, “photographic imagery of the male form.” He sued [23-564 Complaint] Kobalt, a downtown Phoenix gay bar, for using one of his photographs in its Facebook page. The suit was dismissed with prejudice shortly after filing, and the photograph is now down from the page, so it appears the parties reached a quick settlement.

Stross v. Yvette Craddock Designs LLC, 2:22-cv-01451 (filed Aug 26, 2022) 

This case was brought by the owner and principal photographer of Stross Stock [], a Texas stock photography company. The complaint [22-1451] alleges that Tempe-based Yvette Craddock Designs [], an interior design company, used one of the Texas company’s photos to promote its work. The case was voluntarily dismissed in February 2023, apparently after settlement discussions.

Jonah A Grossbardt of SRIPLAW (Beverly Hills, CA) represented the California stock photography company.

Ira M Schwartz Parker Schwartz PLLC (Phoenix) represented the Tempe interior designer.

Toys by Daphne Incorporated et al v. Nan Ning Shi Ma Ke Technology Company Limited, 2:2023-cv-00053 (filed Jan 9, 2023)

This was another short-lived case, likely because of the inability to effect service. A Phoenix company named Daphne’s Headcovers [] makes a popular golf headcovers bearing a tiger design (it has apparently been used, the complaint asserts, by Tiger Woods. The company sued [23-53 Complaint] a Chinese company called Nan Ning Shi Ma Ke Technology Co. Ltd for allegedly making knockoffs of those headcovers and selling them through Amazon. But it looks like they didn’t manage to serve the Chinese company, so they voluntarily dismissed the case a few months later.

Ira M Schwartz, Parker Schwartz PLLC (Phoenix) represented Daphne’s Headcovers. 

Vanderhoven v. Speer et al, 2:22-cv-01931 (filed Nov 14, 2022) 

The lawsuit arises out of a dispute between two members of Good With Grenades [], a pop-punk group formed in 2002 in Phoenix. Johnny Vanderhoven, the band’s vocalist, sued Ryan Speer, the band’s guitarist. The complaint [22-1931 Complaint] asserts that although Vanderhoven owns all of the rights to the band’s works, Speer had allegedly uploaded some of those songs to Spotify and profited from the streams. In addition, the complaint asserts, Speer uploaded other songs with Vanderhoven’s permission, but misrepresented to him the amount of earnings. The complaint brings claims of copyright infringement as well as fraudulent misrepresentation and conversion.

The complaint was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice in February 2023, apparently after settlement discussions.

Krystle Delgado of Delgado Entertainment Law PLLC (Scottsdale) represented Verhooven.

Gary Michael Smith of Smith Saks Kuzmich PLC (Phoenix) represented Speer.

VIP Products LLC v. Pet Krewe Incorporated, 2:22-cv-02119 (filed Dec 15, 2022)

This is a case brought by [], a Phoenix-based company that makes dog chew toys. The complaint [22-2119 Complaint] alleges that Pet Krewe []. a Louisiana company that makes and sells, among other things, pet costumes—yes, there is such a thing—sold a blue “monster dog” toy that purloined the Phoenix company’s own “Mighty Microfiber Monster” dog toy. The Phoenix company dropped its complaint shortly thereafter, for unknown reasons.

By the way, Arizona trademark watchers will recognize VIP Products—the parent company of—from another trademark case that recently made the news. In early June, the Supreme Court ruled against [] the company in a trademark infringement brought against it by Jack Daniels. We covered that case on our blog here [].

Marvin A Glazer of Haynes & Boone LLP (Palo Alto, CA) represented 

The Louisiana company did not enter an appearance.

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