Junk removal business alleges copyright infringement by franchisee

By Carol Ostrow | May 29, 2015


A Pennsylvania junk removal business has sued a Texas man, alleging breach of contract and resultant copyright infringement.

J Dog Franchises filed a lawsuit May 18 against Louis Vaughn Jr. of Houston in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleging breach of contract in a January financial dispute.

According to the complaint, J Dog leases brand-name “J Dog” waste disposal service franchises and exclusively licenses an operating system called “J Dog Junk Removal” along with its mark and logo. The suit states franchisees are licensed to use the trade names, service marks and dress of the plaintiff’s business and to operate under the system, and that the relationship between J Dog and its franchisees is governed by an agreement made with each franchise.

The suit states Vaughn entered into such a franchise agreement to service the Houston area June 24, 2013, agreeing to pay scheduled monthly royalty fees, but the defendant repeatedly failed to pay the royalty fees when the amount increased.

The suit says when the plaintiff notified Vaughn of the breach, the defendant ceased all payments beginning in January 2015. J Dog Franchises states it repeatedly notified Vaughn of his default between January and February, via letters and emails.

The suit cites trademark infringement and breach of contract.

J Dog Franchise requests Vaughn to cease using the J Dog system, trademark, name, web address and any other associations to the business; and provide an accounting of supplies and equipment.

J Dog seeks declaratory judgment in its favor, attorney fees and court costs. It is represented by attorney Samuel Halterman of Spadea, Lanard & Lignana in Philadelphia.

U.S. District

Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number: 2:15-cv-02780-GJP.

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