Category Archives: Legal Issues

The Smart Marketing Group, Inc. Wins Court Case Over Automotive Advertising

CHICAGO, Ill. — On February 6th 2009, a federal jury in Chicago returned a verdict against Publications International Ltd. (PIL) of Lincolnwood, Ill., and awarded $5.6 million to The Smart Marketing Group, Inc. (SMG) in damages resulting from PIL’s breach of a 2003 contract. According to the lawsuit filed in January 2004, PIL’s “Consumer Guide” division contracted with SMG of Los Angeles, Ca. to market and sell certain “Consumer Guide” products to automobile dealers.

SMG alleged that it exceeded its sales and revenue targets but Consumer Guide failed to provide the products and services it promised to the dealers. “The jury clearly agreed with SMG that PIL acted in bad faith by terminating the relationship when there was no cause to do so,” said attorney William Ziegelmueller of Chicago.

“PIL and Consumer Guide wrongly put us out of business, then wrote letters to all of our dealers to damage our reputation when it was really Consumer Guide that failed to perform,” said Michael Welch, the CEO of SMG. “It was the dirtiest kind of pool.”

“No amount of money can make up for what they purposely did to our business and our reputation over the past five years,” said Bill Magarity, SMG’s President. “At that time in our careers, we were the number one dealer sales organization in the country. We had sold more than 7,000 auto dealers into advertising and internet programs, and Consumer Guide took everything from us. Fortunately, after five years of trial delays, a jury has vindicated us.”

Conflicting trial testimony from PIL’s top executives “proved that PIL did not deal honestly with us,” according to Magarity, who also indicated that SMG intends to pursue a fraud claim against PIL in the event PIL appeals the verdict.

Consumer Guide content is currently marketed by HowStuffWorks, Inc., a subsidiary of Discovery Communications, New York, N.Y.

To view copy of court case (PDF), please visit: .

[tags]Smart Marketing Group[/tags]


Guangdong Food Industry Institute / L&P Food Ingredients Vindicated by Initial ITC Determination regarding Patented Sucralose Manufacturing

EXETER, Calif. — Guangdong Food Industry Institute (GDFII/L&P Food), a leading and first manufacturer of Sucralose in China, announced that today, Administrative Law Judge Charles E. Bullock of the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued his initial determination on Tate & Lyle’s Section 337 complaint (docket# 337-TA-604). The complaint alleged infringement of process patents relating to the production of sucralose and certain intermediate compounds. Judge Bullock’s determination states that GDFII/L&P do not infringe any of the Sucralose patents alleged by Tate & Lyle.

Ingredient Specialties, IncMr. Wang Sanyong, a corporate officer of GDFII/L&P Food commented, “We are ecstatic with the determination handed down by the ITC. The initial determination has reaffirmed the strength and innovation of our capability and processes, and the integrity of our Sucralose technology and our company.”

Roger Matkin, CEO of Ingredient Specialties, Inc., the international marketing and distribution arm of L&P/GDFII, echoed Wang’s remarks by saying, “The International Trade Commission has reassured the international business community and consumers alike, that our manufacturing partner’s years of Sucralose research and development were not done in vain. They [ITC] confirmed what we have known for years – that GDFII/L&P has indeed created a unique way to manufacture Sucralose that competes fairly in world markets. This expected positive determination fuels our planned marketing and sales expansion of our Zueit(TM) Sucralose brand worldwide to established multinationals and smaller manufacturers alike.”

Guangdong Food Industry Institute/L&P Food Ingredient Co. Ltd. (GDFII/L&P) is a specialty ingredients manufacturer that pioneered the development and manufacturing of Sucralose in China. GDFII/L&P also engages in the production of many new and innovative nutraceutical and health food ingredients, including: polyphenols, functional food/dietary fibers and other natural and plant derived ingredients. GDFII/L&P, headquartered in Guangdong Province, China in alliance with Ingredient Specialties, Inc. in Exeter, California, provides a global distribution network that markets Zueit(TM) brand sucralose to the food, beverage, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries as a high intensity, non-caloric sweetener. Zueit(TM) is a trademark of Ingredient Specialties, Inc. Exeter, CA, USA.

For more information visit: or .

[tags]Ingredient Specialties Inc, Zueit brand sucralose, Guangdong Food Industry Institute, non-caloric sweetener, CEO Roger Matkin, Wang Sanyong, Tate and Lyle Section 337 complaint[/tags]

Signatures Network Inc lawsuit

Music Industry and Fan Marketing Firms, Signatures Network, Inc. and Live Nation, Named in Lawsuit by Former CFO

Wrongful Termination Lawsuit by Former CFO alleges that Signatures fraudulently deprived major musical artists of millions of dollars in royalty payments

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The law firm of Rukin Hyland Doria & Tindall LLP has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the former CFO of Signatures Network Inc. (SNI) in California Superior Court (Case No. CGC-08-472337) charging that SNI wrongfully terminated him after he protested allegedly fraudulent practices at the company that deprived its musical artists of millions of dollars in royalty payments.

One of the largest music merchandising and artist fan club companies in the world, SNI holds or has held contracts with numerous major recording artists, including Madonna, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Lopez, Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Coldplay and Justin Timberlake.

Signatures Network Inc lawsuit The complaint charges that SNI engaged in ongoing fraudulent practices which included fraudulently charging overhead costs to artists and assessing manufactured credits against artists’ royalties.

The suit also alleges that SNI’s CFO repeatedly protested the practices to the company’s CEO and COO after learning of them, but the practices continued. The lawsuit charges that SNI later fired the CFO because of his complaints.

Last November, SNI announced that it was being acquired by Live Nation Artists, a unit of live entertainment promoter and venue management company Live Nation, Inc. Live Nation is also named as a defendant in the case.

The suit, Chantel v. Signatures Network, Inc., was filed by attorneys from Rukin Hyland Doria & Tindall LLP (

Further Information
Members of the media can obtain a copy of the complaint by contacting Stephanie Doria at Rukin Hyland Doria & Tindall by e-mail at

All trademarks acknowledged. Mention of any artist does not imply an endorsement or participation in this legal matter.

[tags]Rukin Hyland Doria and Tindall LLP, live entertainment promoter, entertainment venue management, music merchandising, artist fan club companies, Signatures Network Inc lawsuit[/tags]

Colorado Travel Co. Wins Trademark Lawsuit for ‘VAIL’ Advertising

DENVER, Colo. — On February, 7th 2008, a small business from Fort Collins, Colorado won in the Court of Appeals against skiing giant Vail Associates, Inc. (VA) over the right to use 1-800-SKI VAIL. In the appeal, the Tenth Circuit Court affirmed that Vail Associates could not use its registered trademark VAIL to prevent Eric Hanson from using his registered trademark, 1-800-SKI VAIL.

The small business arranges vacation packages and well-priced condo, hotel, and resort reservations at a variety of ski area locations through dozens of 1-800-SKI phone numbers. The toll free vanity numbers range from 1-800-SKI ASPEN to 1-800-SKI SNOW for his company

The affirmation is part of a 13 plus year trademark battle and has established that Vail Associates word mark “VAIL” is “weak” and “it is a term that the members of the commercial public have a right to use.” Vail Associates first became aware of the business in 1995, but it was not until 2001 — when the 1-800-SKI VAIL trademark became registered — that Vail Associates felt threatened by the business and filed suit to try to stop the use of 1-800-SKI VAIL telephone number. Vail Associates started their (unsuccessful) lawsuit against 1-800-SKI VAIL in the federal district court. This resulted in a Judgment filed January 3, 2005 where Judge Matsch sided with the owners of 1-800-SKI VAIL on all counts. Vail Associates subsequently ran a second campaign appealing to the 10th Circuit Court – one step below the U.S. Supreme Court. This Court observed that Vail Associates “offered not one shred of evidence” of a likelihood of confusion.

Commenting on testimony by one of Vail Associates’ witnesses, the Court noted that the witness “felt coerced into signing [an] Affidavit” and found that contrary to what Vail Associates was trying to prove, their own witness showed that “most people can’t identify a specific company with the purchase of their ski vacations products. They are familiar with places to ski as a place, not a company.” The Court even characterized VA as a company “who no more wanted to talk about the record evidence than a hog wants to talk about bacon….” Thus, the Court affirmed that there was neither actual confusion nor a likelihood of confusion by 1-800-SKI VAIL. The Court rejected the claims against 1-800-SKI VAIL also because “a term that is as geographically descriptive as VAIL is a weak term.”

The Court noted that “VA’s concern is really about disconnecting an alphanumeric phone line which provides easy access to VA’s actual service competitors.” The Court also commented that “VA’s claim appears more about limiting access to its competition.” Mr. Hanson’s 1-800-SKI VAIL trademark registration still stands as the valid U.S. Patent and Trademark Registration No. 2,458,894.

After trouncing Vail Associates for a second time, Mr. Hanson stated: “VA has been highly successful over the years in acquiring valuable assets though their bull dog tactics. The tactics and implementation of their financial war chest was all about eliminating commercial business’s right to use the term ‘Vail.’ Their monopolistic desires came at the expense of the Vail Colorado community and intentionally stifled competition. As an example; through their legal tactics they were able (to) limit our effectiveness for over 13 years! This affirmation and its impact on the community’s ability to use the term ‘Vail’ is huge, it feels awesome to take the big dog down! It takes real resolve to fight this type of battle on moral principle, but now we can get down to business and give the consumer what they deserve, the best value in accommodations by calling 1-800 SKI VAIL, any one of our many other 1-800-SKI numbers or use our website”

Vend-Tel-Co and Mr. Hanson were represented by the trademark and patent firm of Santangelo Law Offices, P.C. and the trial firm of Thomas R. French, both in Fort Collins, Colorado. Vail Associates was represented in the matter by the Denver branch of the international law firm of Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher, LLP.

Editors note: The lawsuit is captioned: “Vail Associates, Inc., and Vail Trademarks, Inc. vs. Vend-Tel-Co., Ltd. and Eric A. Hanson.” Case No. 05-1058 in the United States Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit, affirming the United States District Court for the District of Colorado Judge Richard P. Matsch dismissal of all Vail Associates claims.

For Additional Information, Contact:

Luke Santangelo 970-224-3100; LSantangelo

Thomas French 970-484-0360; FrenchLaw

Eric Hanson 208-755-2306; ehanson

Val Favicchio 208-755-9421; val

[tags]Eric Hanson, SKIusa LLC, vail trademark lawsuit[/tags]

Book Marketing Campaign on Don Imus Radio Show Leads to Lawsuit

NEW YORK, N.Y. — FlatSigned Press, Inc. has sued Don Imus, Infinity Broadcasting, and CBS as a result of off-script and off-color remarks Imus made while reading ad copy to promote the book on his show. The “Imus in the Morning” show was selected to be the highlight in FlatSigned Press, Inc.’s marketing of the book, due to Imus’s noted ability to publicize books. Imus’ remarks left an indelible negative mark on the publishing company’s name, FlatSigned alleges.

Don Imus’ disrespectful and disparaging remarks about President Gerald R. Ford a month after his death carried a weight of historic proportions, according to FlatSigned Press, Inc.’s Chairman of the Board Tim Miller. “Because of Don Imus’ actions, much of the public never heard about the new information President Ford left the world regarding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy,” says Miller.

Miller’s company published President Ford’s last written words on the subject in a book titled “President John F. Kennedy: The Assassination Report of the Warren Commission.” Published in 2005, the collectible hand-signed, leather-bound, limited edition book featured a forward by President Ford, who was the last surviving member of the Warren Commission.

“This book was chosen by the president to be part of his legacy, a part of his life surviving beyond his death,” notes Miller. “Don Imus damaged that legacy by using his considerable influence over the book-buying public to cast a very negative and inaccurate light on the book.”

“The issue of highest concern to me is the fact that Imus’ remarks cheapened perceptions of Ford’s last work and insulted a much beloved American president in the process,” says Miller. “Until I worked with Ford and published this book, I’d never believed in a conspiracy, and to Ford’s dying day he would never admit to or claim that there was a conspiracy, yet his comments in the forward are laced with hints that warrant thoughtful consideration that there may be more information that the Warren Commission couldn’t discuss in 1963.”

What Imus did not tell his listeners that is included within Ford’s final book is a discussion of the lingering questions and conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination and a wide range of topics about Ford’s own life, the issues he inherited as president, the two assassination attempts on him during his presidency, his internal struggles over his Presidential pardon of President Richard M. Nixon, his analysis of the current economic climate, and his views on modern politics, including the breakdown of communications within the Central Intelligence Agency leading up to and during the September 11th attacks.

About FlatSigned Press, Inc.
FlatSigned Press, Inc. is an internet, retail rare book and publishing company specializing in the procurement, sale and publishing of rare and collectible books, first-edition signed books, manuscripts, historical documents, art, and autographs. FlatSigned Press, Inc. was founded in 1998., went online in April 2000. The term FlatSigned was coined by author Stephen King to describe the most desirable type of collectible book: signed by the author directly on the title page without an inscription.

[tags]FlatSigned Press Inc, promote book on radio program, Imus in the Morning show, Don Imus lawsuit[/tags]

Lawyer Marketing Firm Takes Poll on Who Would or Would Not Represent Bin Laden in Court of Law

New Poll Shows Most U.S. Lawyers Would Not Represent Bin Laden in Court

BOCA RATON, Fla. — As we mark the sixth anniversary of 9/11, a new poll conducted by Nader Anise Lawyer Marketing asks lawyers whether they would represent the World’s Most Wanted Man, Osama Bin Laden, in court if he were found alive. (The assumption of course being that a criminal prosecution would ultimately ensue.)

Between January, 2007 and August, 2007, the following question was posed to 940 attorneys practicing in diverse specialties in the U.S.:

“If Osama bin Laden were captured today, and you were asked to join his legal defense team (regardless of the type of law you practice), would you? Assume U.S. law applies.”

Of the attorneys surveyed, the majority of lawyers – 55.2% — said they would not agree to be bin Laden’s lawyer or part of bin Laden’s defense team.

Attorney Nader Anise, President of Nader Anise Lawyer Marketing, says, “When we conducted this poll, we didn’t know what to expect. The lawyers who participated are all students of mine – and I teach lawyers how to make maximum money in their practice. You might think that’s all that matters to them – huge profits – but it’s not. Morals and principles are also important.”

The most popular “no” answers were, “No, I would decline for moral reasons” and “No, my life and safety, and my family members’ lives and safety, would be at risk.” The least popular reason for declining to represent bin Laden was, “No, because we would surely lose the case.”

Interestingly, nearly 9% of all those polled selected the option, “No, he should have every hair on his beard plucked… and then he should be dunked head-first into a huge tub of boiling oil and fried ALIVE.”

A sizable minority, however – 44.7% — said they would be willing represent bin Laden in court.

“The number one “yes” response was, “Yes, even HE is innocent until proven guilty.” In fact, at 19.2%, it is the top answer generated in the entire poll.

Other popular “yes” responses: “Yes, the publicity I would receive can lead to fame and fortune” and “Yes, it would be an amazing challenge and opportunity to make history.”

For more information on the poll and review the responses in detail, go to

To interview Nader Anise, call +1-954-392-8824.

[tags]Nader Anise Lawyer Marketing, Osama bin Laden poll[/tags]