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Chicago IP Litigation Tracking Northern District of Illinois IP Cases

Tag Archives: Corporate Veil

“Special Sharing” Allows Claims Against Corporate Officer

Posted in Pleading Requirements

Lang Exteriors, Inc. v. Lang Windows, Inc., No. 11 C 5517, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 16, 2012) (Finnegan, J.).

Judge Finnegan denied individual defendant Lang’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) & (6) motion to dismiss this Lanham Act suit.  Lang argued that plaintiff Lang Exterior could not bring claims directly against Lang without piercing the corporate veil.  But Seventh Circuit law allows personal claims against corporate officers where there was a “special showing” that the officer acted beyond the scope of her official duties.  Plaintiff’s pleadings were sufficient to make that showing at the Rule 12(b) stage.  Specifically, plaintiff pled:

  1. Lang founded defendant Lang Windows and deliberately chose a name to confuse.
  2. Lang personally emailed contacts using a pseudonym she used for plaintiff in order to confuse customers.
  3. Lang created a website intending to confuse.

The Court also deemed waived Lang’s arguments reviewed for the first time on appeal.