Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:21 pm
in case over kringle Web site
A Racine firm embroiled in a dispute over the use of the term “Racine kringle” to define Web sites has switched legal counsel at the direction of its insurance firm.
Chris Duesing and Rob Lauer of the Milwaukee firm Kasdorf Lewis Swietlik have replaced Jay Nixon of the Racine firm Harvey Nixon & O’Neil in the defense of racineonline.com. Some change of counsel had been anticipated for some time, as according to Nixon, the Racine firm’s background is not heavy in the area of intellectual property law.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District in Milwaukee, on behalf of RDK Corp., also known as Racine Danish Kringle, against the Web-hosting company racineonline.com and owner Patrick Flynn. RDK is being represented by Tom Polcyn of St. Louis, Mo.-based Howell and Haferkamp. The suit was filed to force racineonline.com to turn over to RDK the domain racinekringle.com, which is owned by another Racine company, Larsen’s Bakery. At issue is the legal protectability of the terms Racine kringle and Racine Danish Kringle, and whether racineonline.com, which registered and hosts the site on Larsen’s behalf, should be the target of the suit.
Flynn said that his business liability policy with Acuity — formerly Heritage Insurance — of Sheboygan covers expenses related to the suit. According to Acuity’s vice president of claims Jamie Loiacono, Flynn’s situation is an excellent example of what business liability insurance is for.
“Legal expenses would be covered for a company any time a claim would be covered under their insurance policy,” Loiacono said. “They would have a cause of loss covered by their insurance policy. In that case, including legal and expert fees — as well as any judgments against the defendant.”
While Nixon had stated earlier that he felt the suit was frivolous and counter suits were possible, Acuity has limited options for recovering its investment in the suit.
“The only thing the legal system allows us to do is to go back to the plaintiff for costs — a very nominal portion of the total matter,” Loiacono said, implying Flynn would be on his own for any countersuits.
Aug. 17, 2001 Small Business Times, Milwaukee