‘The Northern District of Illinois v. the Internet’: How Chicago Became the Center of Schedule A Trademark Infringement Litigation

On Dec. 13, country musician Luke Combs took to Instagram to apologize for a $250,000 judgment issued against a Florida woman for selling handmade drink tumblers with Combs’ image on them through Amazon, Tampa-based station WFLA reported. While the woman only made $380 from selling the product, after the judgment was entered, the $5,500 balance in her Amazon account was also frozen.

The catch? Neither Combs nor the defendant was aware of the lawsuit. The woman’s name didn’t appear in court filings and when she was served by email, the message went to a spam folder. In fact, she didn’t know about the case until Northern District of Illinois Judge Elaine Bucklo awarded $250,000 default judgments against each of over 40 defendants listed by their online retail storefronts in a separate “Schedule A” document that was filed under seal during the proceedings.

Sarah Burstein of the Suffolk University IP law professor. Courtesy photo

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