The Northern District of Illinois has a critical number of vacancies. Judge St. Eve just left for the Seventh Circuit. Judge Zagel took senior status in October 2016. Judge Zagel took senior status in March 2017 and passed away shortly thereafter. Judge Der-Yeghiayan retired in February 2018. Senior Judge Shadur (who maintained a very full

Sorenson v. WD-40 Co., No. 12 C 50417, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sep. 9, 2014) (Kapala, J.).

Judge Kapala granted defendant WD-40 summary judgment as to plaintiff’s Lanham Act and related state law claims regarding plaintiff’s THE INHIBITOR and related design marks (the “Inhibitor Marks”) and WD-40’s Specialist product line.

WD-40’s use of the

DR Distributors, LLC v. 21 Century Smoking, Inc., No. 12 C 50324, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Mar. 14) (Kapala, J.).

Judge Kapala granted the agreed portions of plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction in this trademark case involving plaintiff’s 21ST CENTURY SMOKE and defendant’s 21 CENTURY SMOKING marks, as follows:

  • The parties agreed to a

Bergstrom, Inc. v. Glacier Bay, Inc., No. 08 C 50078, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Mar. 9, 2012) (Kapala, J.).

Judge Kapala accepted a Special Master’s claim constructions with some modifications in this case involving heating and cooling systems for over-the-road trucks.  The Court made the following holdings of particular note:

  • “Minimum speed” meant “a

Richter v. INSTAR Enterprises Int’l, Inc., No. 08 C 50026, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jan. 23, 2009) (Kapala, J.).
Judge Kapala granted defendant INSTAR’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss plaintiff’s copyright infringement claims for lack of personal jurisdiction. INSTAR did not have sufficient contacts with Illinois for general jurisdiction. INSTAR did not maintain offices or otherwise regularly do business in Illinois. Its contacts with Illinois were: 1) its interactive website; and 2) INSTAR’s customer’s resale of its products within Illinois. Additionally, INSTAR produced undisputed evidence that less than .1% of its business came from Illinois and that none of the accused products were sold directly into Illinois.
Similarly, the Court lacked specific jurisdiction. While plaintiff was allegedly harmed in Illinois, the effects doctrine was not satisfied because INSTAR was not charged with an intentional tort and INSTAR’s unrefuted evidence showed that it did not intend to infringe plaintiff’s copyrights. INSTAR’s website did not create specific jurisdiction either. There was no evidence that INSTAR made any sales into Illinois from its website. And the only evidence of anyone from Illinois accessing the website was based upon plaintiff’s representatives accessing the site. Finally, the entry of INSTAR’s products into the stream of commerce did not create specific jurisdiction because there was no evidence that INSTAR knew or expected that the stream of commerce would take its products into Illinois.

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Late last week, President Bush signed the appointment papers for the Northern District’s newest judge, the Honorable Frederick J. Kapala. Judge Kapala was sworn-in late last week and is sitting in the Northern District’s Western Division. Here is some biographical information about Judge Kapala from the Northern District’s announcement of his appointment:
Judge Kapala graduated from Marquette University and received his law degree from the University of Illinois in 1976. He served as an Assistant State’s Attorney and then went into private practice, where he was appointed as a Special Assistant Attorney General to manage consumer fraud cases in Northern Illinois. He began his judicial career in 1982 as an Associate Judge in Illinois’ 17th Judicial Circuit, serving as Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court from 1989 to 1991. Judge Kapala was elected a Circuit Judge in 1994 and appointed Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division one year later. In 2001, Judge Kapala was assigned to the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, where he served on the Illinois Judicial Conference Committee on Discovery Procedures and the Illinois State Judicial Inquiry Board. Judge Kapala is a captain in the U.S. Army.
Welcome to the Northern District Judge Kapala.

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