|Settlement Reached in WEVA IP Lawsuit Enters Permanent Injunction Against 4Ever Group; Payments to Be Made to WEVA For 3 Years
November 21, 2007
Sarasota, FL - A Settlement, approved yesterday by U.S. District Court Judge Mary Scriven, in the federal lawsuit filed by Wedding & Event Videographers Association International (WEVA) has upheld the rights of WEVA to both its physical property and its intellectual property (IP).
The approved Settlement enters a permanent injunction against The 4Ever Group, Steve Wernick, Tim Ryan, and related defendants. It also mandates cash payments to be made by The 4Ever Group to WEVA quarterly for the next three years with provisions for enforcement of all Settlement terms included in the approved agreement.
The terms of the non-sealed Settlement also require the return of any of WEVA’s equipment and physical property not already returned to the Association by the defendants after the lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa FL, and emphasizes that business be conducted through “Fair Competition” (Florida law prohibits “unfair trade practices”).
The Settlement permanently bars the defendants from re-filing, or filing, applications with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office seeking to register any WEVA trade names, or represent in print, on the Internet, and elsewhere, that any WEVA trade names or trademarks are their own, including "Battle of the Videographers." It further calls for the removal of any remaining reference to the defendants' use of WEVA's "Battle of the Videographers" mark from both the public and private areas of their Internet site, and bars their use of any term confusingly similar to WEVA marks or names.
Additionally, the Settlement terms require dismissal of a legal action by Wernick’s Pennsylvania business against WEVA that was instigated before WEVA filed a suit seeking return of its property three years ago.
During the course of litigation, through legal discovery in the lawsuit, WEVA was also ultimately able to recover nearly 1,000 pages of WEVA's Ethics Committee files. Until that time, requests by WEVA for the return of the Ethics Committee files had been refused by Wernick, the former WEVA Ethics Committee chairman who had custody of the committee files.
"We are pleased this matter has ended by an out-of-court settlement that respects and upholds the rights of WEVA to both its physical and intellectual property," said WEVA International founder and chairman Roy Chapman, "especially in today’s new high-speed Internet world." The new broadband era, Chapman adds, has had both positive and negative effects for videographers, which have been felt during the period of the litigation.
"Videographers see what’s been happening on the Web. Our Association’s tremendous progress in the past three years is a key reason our membership has doubled in size. And it’s why we feel it’s important that attention in this legal matter has been paid to commercial laws that exist to ensure not simply “free” competition, but fair competition in our industry. Upholding fair competition is essential, particularly now when so many of our members say they are in a constant battle to protect their own intellectual property. WEVA is already working with new digital asset management solutions that members will be able to utilize for greater protection soon."
About Wedding & Event Videographers Association International (WEVA)
Founded over a decade ago, WEVA International is the world's largest trade association for professional wedding and event videographers and leads the field with education that's on the cutting-edge of industry developments. WEVA is dedicated to advancing the professional interests of videographers globally through continuing education at events such as Wedding & Event Video Expo and WEVA's Wide World of Weddings & Events, technical support, group benefits, advocacy committees, new media, including Wedding & Event Videography Resource Guide, plus WEVA NEWS MINUTE videos, WEVA On-The-Air Podcasts, and streaming video on WEVA-TV.
Join WEVA online today to access valuable WEVA membership benefits that can help you succeed in your business, including new opportunities through ImageSpan's LicenseStream and CurbStream programs, plus low-cost Visa/MasterCard Merchant Status, Equipment Insurance, E&O Insurance, the new Equipment Financing Program, WEVA NEWS MINUTE videos, WEVA On-The-Air podcasts, and more. Membership also provides opportunities for professional videographer (MPV) accreditation, and system-training at WEVA EXPO 2008 our industry’s biggest international convention and trade show. For more information contact the association at 941-923-5334 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org