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Friday, September 23, 2011

Ind. Decisions - "Texas company shipping product to Ind. not under state's jurisdiction"

Yesterday's COA decision in An-Hung Yao and Yu-Ting Lin v. State of Indiana (ILB summary here), was the subject of a brief story by Dan Carden in the NWI Times. Some quotes:

The Indiana Court of Appeals on Thursday threw out criminal charges against two Texans whose only connection to Indiana was a business that shipped allegedly trademark-infringing toy guns to the state.
An-Hung Yao and Yu-Ting Lin, both of Houston, are affiliated with Generation Guns, a retailer of toy guns imported from Taiwan that resemble real guns but shoot plastic pellets.

Heckler and Koch Inc., manufacturer of the MP5 submachine gun, believed Generation Guns' toys infringed on its MP5 shape and design trademarks and hired Continental Enterprises of Indianapolis to investigate.

Continental purchased several of the allegedly infringing toy guns through the mail and at the company's Texas office.
They shared their findings with Indiana State Police, leading to charges of counterfeiting, theft and corrupt business influence against Yao and Lin.

In a 3-0 decision, the appeals court ordered those charges dismissed because "there is no evidence any conduct that is an element of the alleged offenses occurred in Indiana."

Prosecutors claimed during oral arguments held at Merrillville High School that shipping a product to Indiana gave the state authority to prosecute.

The court disagreed, saying Indiana lacks territorial jurisdiction because the toys were sold in Texas, regardless of where they were shipped.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 23, 2011 08:32 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions