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Springfree et. al. v. JumpSport

Springfree et. al. v. JumpSport

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Published by PriorSmart
Official Complaint for Declaratory Judgement in Civil Action No. 4:14-cv-00450: Springfree L.P. et. al. v. JumpSport, Inc. Filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, no judge yet assigned. See http://news.priorsmart.com/-laFK for more info.
Official Complaint for Declaratory Judgement in Civil Action No. 4:14-cv-00450: Springfree L.P. et. al. v. JumpSport, Inc. Filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, no judge yet assigned. See http://news.priorsmart.com/-laFK for more info.

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COMPLAINT PAGE 1

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
SHERMAN DIVISION

SPRINGFREE L.P. and SPRINGFREE
TRAMPOLINE USA INC.,

Plaintiffs,

JUMPSPORT, INC.,

Defendant.



CASE NO. ____

JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND

Plaintiffs Springfree L.P. and Springfree Trampoline USA Inc. (collectively
“Springfree”) allege as follows:
PARTIES
1. Springfree L.P. is a Canadian limited partnership with a principal place of
business at 3933 N Central Expressway #400, Plano, TX 75023. Springfree Trampoline USA,
Inc. is a corporation formed under the laws of Canada with a principal place of business at 151
Whitehall Dr., Unit 2, Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R9T1.
2. JumpSport, Inc. (“JumpSport”) is a corporation formed under the laws of
California with a principal place of business at 2055 South 7th Street, Suite A, San Jose, CA
95112.
NATURE OF THIS ACTION
3. Springfree seeks a declaratory judgment that U.S. Patent No. 8,430,795 (“the ’795
patent”) is invalid and is not infringed by Springfree’s trampoline enclosures. The relief is
necessary because JumpSport has alleged that Springfree’s trampoline enclosures infringe the
’795 patent and has created a justiciable controversy between Springfree and JumpSport.
4. This is also an action by Springfree for false advertising, false association, and

COMPLAINT PAGE 2

unjust enrichment in violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), Texas Business and
Commerce Code § 16.29, and the common law of Texas.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
5. Jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter of this action is proper in this
Court under 35 U.S.C. § 271 et seq. and 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (actions arising under the laws of the
United States), 28 U.S.C. § 1338(a) (actions relating to patents and trademarks), 28 U.S.C. §
1338(b) (claims of unfair competition when joined with a substantial and related claim under
patent or trademark laws), and 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02 (declaratory judgment actions). This Court
also has supplemental jurisdiction over the counterclaims herein that arise under state statutory
and common law pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).
6. Venue is proper in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391 and 1400 because
JumpSport sells its products in this judicial district and JumpSport’s false advertising has taken
place in this judicial district.
7. This Court has personal jurisdiction over JumpSport under the laws of the State of
Texas, including the Texas long-arm statute, TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE §17.042, due at
least to its substantial business in this State and judicial district, including: (a) its false
advertising activities alleged herein; and (b) regularly doing or soliciting business, engaging in
other persistent conduct, and/or deriving substantial revenue from goods sold and services
provided to Texas residents.
FACTS
8. Springfree was founded more than a decade ago, and since then it has become a
leader and innovator in designing and creating safe trampolines. The Springfree Trampoline was
invented and designed by New Zealand engineer and professor at the University of Canterbury,

COMPLAINT PAGE 3

Dr. Keith Alexander. The design was commercialized in 2003 and is now sold in over 20
countries, including the United States.
9. Springfree L.P. is headquartered in Plano, Texas, and operates three retail
locations in the United States: in Issaquah, Washington; Plano, Texas; and Frisco, Texas.
Springfree trampolines are also available online at www.springfreetrampoline.com.
10. As a result of its marketing efforts, innovation, and the reliability and safety
features of its products, Springfree and its trampolines have acquired goodwill and a favorable
reputation among consumers.
The ’795 Patent
11. The ’795 patent issued to JumpSport, Inc. on April 30, 2013. The ’795 patent
identifies the inventors as Mark W. Publicover and Donald Strasser. A copy of the ’795 patent is
attached as Exhibit A. On information and belief, Mark Publicover is the Chief Executive
Officer of JumpSport, Inc.
12. The ’795 patent is within the same patent family as U.S. Patent Nos. 6,261,207
(“the ’207 patent”) and 6,053,845 (“the ’845 patent”). Each of the ’795, ’207, and ’845 patents
is entitled “Trampoline or the like with enclosure.” JumpSport filed a lawsuit against Springfree
in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, Cause No. 6:13-cv-929-JDL, in which certain
Springfree trampoline systems are accused of infringing the ’207 and ’845 patents. That case is
currently pending.
13. JumpSport recently communicated to Springfree that JumpSport believes
Springfree also infringes the ’795 patent and that JumpSport intends to assert the ’795 patent
against Springfree’s trampoline systems.
14. There is an actual controversy between Springfree and JumpSport regarding

COMPLAINT PAGE 4

whether Springfree’s trampolines infringes the ’795 patent and whether the ’795 patent is valid.
JumpSport’s Unlawful Conduct
15. JumpSport competes with Springfree in the trampoline business. JumpSport is
well acquainted with Springfree and has been aware of Springfree’s trampoline business for over
a decade.
16. JumpSport sells its trampolines online at www.jumpsport.com. On its website,
JumpSport touts its trampolines as rated “#1 in Safety,” see Exhibit B. On
www.jumpsport.com/Compare, JumpSport compares its trampolines to those of “Unsafe
Trampolines, Being Sold by Discount Retailers,” its competitors, and contains a hyperlink to
TrampolineSafety.com, see Exhibit C. On www.jumpsport.com/Compare-Springfree-
Trampoline is a side-by-side comparison of JumpSport’s AlleyOop trampolines and Springfree
trampolines, complete with video clips depicting a Springfree trampoline net collapsing as a
jumper hurtles into the net, see Exhibit D. The ten-factor comparison between JumpSport’s
AlleyOop trampolines and Springfree trampolines concludes with Springfree trampolines being
labeled “clearly inferior.” On that webpage, JumpSport attributes the comparison to a
purportedly unbiased tester for trampoline safety by asserting that “TrampolineSafety.com gives
AlleyOop Top Trampoline Ratings over the competition” and including a hyperlink to
TrampolineSafety.com. Another webpage, www.jumpsport.com/Safety-Alert, concludes that
“Testing Proves that the Other Enclosures are Not Safe!” and features videos of distorted impacts
in Springfree trampolines as well as trampolines from other manufacturers, see Exhibit E. The
videos are noted as provided courtesy of TrampolineSafety.com and again provides a hyperlink.
JumpSport’s customer reviews webpage, www.jumpsport.com/Reviews, further directs
customers to visit TrampolineSafety.com “[f]or full reviews of our products and our

COMPLAINT PAGE 5

competition,” See Exhibit F. TrampolineSafety.com’s logo and hyperlink is placed next to a
logo of the Better Business Bureau and below references to reviews from Google Checkout and
Amazon such that a visitor to the webpage would associate the reputation of
TrampolineSafety.com with the reputation of the Better Business Bureau, Google, and Amazon.
17. Nowhere on the domain www.jumpsport.com does JumpSport disclose its
affiliation with, or sponsorship of, TrampolineSafety.com. Yet, upon information and belief,
JumpSport owns and operates, or directs and controls, the actions and content of
TrampolineSafety.com.
18. TrampolineSafety.com holds itself out to consumers as an independent party
concerned with providing the public service of educating consumers on trampoline safety.
Instead, it disparages and misrepresents the safety of Springfree trampolines, as well as other
competitor trampolines, while consistently inflating the comparative quality of JumpSport
trampolines as rated top of the industry. Only after clicking on a small “About Us” link at the
bottom of its homepage does TrampolineSafety.com disclose that it is “[u]nder sponsorship from
Jumpsport.” On information and belief, TrampolineSafety.com did not include the disclosure of
JumpSport’s sponsorship until 2011.
19. TrampolineSafety.com also operates a YouTube channel containing disparaging
videos showing alleged testing of Springfree trampolines. The “About” link reveals that
“TrampolineSafety.Com has received support from JumpSport, Inc., including the free use of its
test facilities. In addition, some of the content on TrampolineSafety.Com has been authored by
employees of JumpSport.” On information and belief, TrampolineSafety.com’s YouTube
channel did not include the disclosure of JumpSport’s support and authorship until 2011.
20. As shown in some of TrampolineSafety.com’s disparaging videos about

COMPLAINT PAGE 6

competitor trampolines, Justin Brock was one of the individuals testing the Springfree
trampolines between 2007 and 2010. On information and belief, Mr. Brock was an employee of
JumpSport during this time period.
21. JumpSport’s disparaging comparisons, video footage of testing, and references to
evaluations conducted by TrampolineSafety.com constitute commercial advertising or promotion
and misrepresent the characteristics and qualities of Springfree’s trampolines, and falsely
denigrate the safety of Springfree trampolines. In addition, JumpSport knew or should have
known that concealing and/or obfuscating its affiliation with TrampolineSafety.com is likely to
cause confusion, mistake, or deceive consumers as to the neutrality of TrampolineSafety.com’s
evaluation and comparison of trampolines in the marketplace.
22. JumpSport’s unlawful activities have resulted in and, unless restrained by this
Court, will continue to result in unjust enrichment to JumpSport and serious irreparable harm and
injury to Springfree.
COUNT I
Declaratory Judgment of Non-Infringement
23. Springfree realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 to 22 as if fully set forth
herein.
24. Springfree designs, develops, manufactures, and sells trampoline systems.
JumpSport has alleged that Springfree infringes the ’795 patent and that JumpSport intends to
assert the ’795 patent against Springfree’s trampoline systems. Therefore, an actual controversy
has arisen and now exists between the parties as to whether Springfree has infringed either
directly or indirectly (through contributory infringement or inducement of infringement) the ’795
patent.

COMPLAINT PAGE 7

25. Pursuant to the Federal Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201 et seq.,
Springfree requests a declaration by the Court that it does not infringe any claim of the ’795
patent, either directly, contributorily, or by inducement.
COUNT II
Declaratory Judgment of Patent Invalidity
26. Springfree realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 to 25 as if fully set forth
herein.
27. Based on the allegations above, an actual controversy has arisen and now exists as
to the validity of the ’795 patent.
28. The ’795 patent is invalid for failure to comply with the requirements of 35
U.S.C. § 101 et seq., including but not limited to §§102, 103, and 112.
29. The ’795 patent is invalid because, among other things, there is prior art that
anticipates the claims and/or renders the claims obvious.
30. Pursuant to the Federal Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201 et seq.,
Springfree requests a declaration by the Court that the claims of the ’795 patent are invalid.
COUNT III
False Advertising Under § 43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125
31. Springfree realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 to 30 as if fully set forth
herein.
32. JumpSport’s statements on its website and on TrampolineSafety.com, as
identified above, are false and/or misleading representations of fact about Springfree and its
products.
33. JumpSport’s statements on its website and on TrampolineSafety.com appeared

COMPLAINT PAGE 8

and continue to appear in interstate commerce including on the internet.
34. The foregoing acts of JumpSport deceived, or had the capacity to deceive, a
substantial segment of potential consumers.
35. The foregoing acts of JumpSport are likely to influence consumer purchasing
decisions.
36. Springfree, along with Springfree’s entire line of trampoline products, are in
interstate commerce through offices in two states, an internet presence, and sales throughout the
United States.
37. Springfree has been and is likely to be injured (both economic and reputational)
as a result of JumpSport’s false and/or misleading representations.
38. JumpSport’s actions constitute false advertising in violation of § 43(a) of the
Lanham Act.
39. JumpSport’s unlawful acts have caused great and irreparable injury to Springfree,
and will continue to irreparably harm Springfree unless enjoined.
40. JumpSport’s acts have been willful and deliberate justifying an award of attorney
fees.
41. Upon information and belief, JumpSport has profited from its unlawful actions
and has been unjustly enriched to the detriment of Springfree. JumpSport’s unlawful actions
have caused Springfree monetary damage in an amount presently unknown, but in an amount to
be determined at trial.
COUNT IV
False Association Under § 43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125
42. Springfree realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 to 41 as if fully set forth

COMPLAINT PAGE 9

herein.
43. JumpSport’s statements on its website, hyperlinking to TrampolineSafety.com,
and statements made on TrampolineSafety.com, as identified above, are likely to cause
confusion, to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association of
JumpSport with TrampolineSafety.com and/or as to TrampolineSafety.com’s approval of
JumpSport’s products in relation to Springfree’s products.
44. JumpSport’s statements on its website and on TrampolineSafety.com appeared
and continue to appear in interstate commerce including on the internet.
45. The foregoing acts of JumpSport deceived, or had the capacity to deceive, a
substantial segment of potential consumers.
46. The foregoing acts of JumpSport are likely to influence consumer purchasing
decisions.
47. Springfree, along with Springfree’s entire line of trampoline product, are in
interstate commerce through offices in two states, an internet presence, and sales throughout the
United States.
48. Springfree has been and is likely to be injured (both economic and reputational)
as a result of JumpSport’s false and/or misleading representations.
49. JumpSport’s actions constitute false association in violation of § 43(a) of the
Lanham Act.
50. JumpSport’s unlawful acts have caused irreparable injury to Springfree, and will
continue to irreparably harm Springfree unless enjoined.
51. JumpSport’s acts have been willful and deliberate justifying an award of attorney
fees.

COMPLAINT PAGE 10

52. Upon information and belief, JumpSport has profited from its unlawful actions
and has been unjustly enriched to the detriment of Springfree. JumpSport’s unlawful actions
have caused Springfree monetary damage in an amount presently unknown, but in an amount to
be determined at trial.
COUNT V
Injury to Business Reputation Under Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 16.29
53. Springfree realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 to 52 as if fully set forth
herein.
54. JumpSport’s statements on its website and on TrampolineSafety.com, as
identified above, likely tarnished or appropriated the goodwill and reputation associated with
Springfree.
55. JumpSport’s acts constitute a violation of Texas Business and Commercial Code
§ 16.29 for injury to Springfree’s business reputation.
56. JumpSport’s acts have caused irreparable injury to Springfree, and will continue
to irreparably harm Springfree unless enjoined.
57. JumpSport’s acts have been willful and deliberate justifying an award of attorney
fees.
COUNT VI
Texas Common Law Business Disparagement
58. Springfree realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 to 57 as if fully set forth
herein.
59. JumpSport’s statements on its website and on TrampolineSafety.com, as
identified above, are false and disparage Springfree by implying that Springfree trampolines are

COMPLAINT PAGE 11

not safe.
60. Upon information and belief, JumpSport published its statements on its website
and on TrampolineSafety.com with knowledge that they were false, with reckless disregard
about the statements’ truth, or with ill will or intent to interfere with Springfree’s economic
interest.
61. Upon information and belief, JumpSport was not privileged to publish the false
and disparaging information about Springfree.
62. JumpSport’s acts have specifically damaged and will continue to damage
Springfree. JumpSport’s acts have caused Springfree monetary damage in an amount presently
unknown, but in an amount to be determined at trial.
63. JumpSport’s acts constitute business disparagement under Texas common law.
COUNT VII
Defamation
64. Springfree realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 to 63 as if fully set forth
herein.
65. JumpSport’s website and TrampolineSafety.com are publications. The webpages
are available cost-free to the public online.
66. JumpSport’s representations on its website and on TrampolineSafety.com, as
identified above, are statements of fact rather than opinion.
67. JumpSport’s representations on its website and on TrampolineSafety.com are
defamatory about Springfree.
68. JumpSport knew of the falsity of the representations or published the statements
with reckless disregard of whether the representations were false or not.

COMPLAINT PAGE 12

69. JumpSport’s acts have damaged and will continue to damage Springfree.
JumpSport’s acts have caused Springfree monetary damage in an amount presently unknown, but
in an amount to be determined at trial.
70. JumpSport’s actions constitute defamation under Texas common law.
COUNT VIII
Tortious Interference with Contractual and/or Business Relations
71. Springfree realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 to 70 as if fully set forth
herein.
72. Springfree had valid contracts with customers, distributors, and resellers. These
agreements are lawful and enforceable contracts. Springfree has fulfilled, in all respects, its
obligations under these contracts.
73. Upon information and belief, JumpSport knew of Springfree’s contracts and
business relations with customers, distributors, and resellers.
74. JumpSport tortiously, willfully and intentionally interfered with Springfree’s
contracts and business relations by publishing, and continuing to publish, the statements on its
website and on TrampolineSafety.com, as identified above.
75. JumpSport’s activities in publishing the statements on its website and on
TrampolineSafety.com caused actual damages or loss to Springfree, which has suffered and will
continue to suffer losses and irreparable injury to its business relations and contracts with third
parties.
76. The interference was the proximate cause of Springfree’s injury.
77. JumpSport’s actions constitute tortious interference with Springfree’s contracts
and business relations under Texas common law.

COMPLAINT PAGE 13

78. By reason of the foregoing, Springfree is entitled to damages including, but not
limited to, exemplary damages and injunctive relief.
COUNT IX
Tortious Interference with Prospective Contracts and/or Business Relations
79. Springfree realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 to 78 as if fully set forth
herein.
80. There was a reasonable probability that Springfree would have entered into
business relationships with certain prospective customers, distributors, as resellers.
81. Upon information and belief, JumpSport knew about these potential contracts and
intentionally interfered with the relationships by improperly publishing the statements on its
website and on TrampolineSafety.com, as identified above. Upon information and belief,
JumpSport acted with a conscious desire to prevent the relationships from occurring or
JumpSport knew that the interference was certain or substantially certain to occur as a result of
publishing the statements.
82. JumpSport’s conduct is independently tortious or unlawful because it violates
federal and state law as alleged herein.
83. JumpSport’s activities in publishing the statements on its website and on
TrampolineSafety.com caused actual damages or loss to Springfree, which has suffered and will
continue to suffer losses and irreparable injury to its prospective business relations and contracts
with third parties.
84. The interference was the proximate cause of Springfree’s injury.
85. JumpSport’s actions constitute tortious interference with Springfree’s prospective
contracts and business relations under Texas common law.

COMPLAINT PAGE 14

86. By reason of the foregoing, Springfree is entitled to damages including, but not
limited to, exemplary damages and injunctive relief.
COUNT X
Common Law Unfair Competition
87. Springfree realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 to 86 as if fully set forth
herein.
88. Upon information and belief, JumpSport’s willful, intentional and illegal acts, as
alleged in this Complaint, have interfered and will interfere with Springfree’s ability to conduct
its business, and constitutes unfair competition at common law.
89. As a result of JumpSport’s willful, intentional and illegal acts, Springfree has
suffered commercial damage for which Springfree may recover. In addition, JumpSport’s
actions warrant the imposition of exemplary damages because, upon information and belief, they
were willful, intentional and performed with malice.
COUNT XI
Common Law Unjust Enrichment
90. Springfree realleges and incorporates paragraphs 1 to 89 as if fully set forth
herein.
91. By reason of the foregoing, JumpSport has unjustly enriched itself, and continues
to do so, in an unknown amount, and Springfree is entitled to just compensation under the
common law of the State of Texas
PRAYER
Springfree respectfully requests a judgment against JumpSport as follows:

COMPLAINT PAGE 15

A. In favor of Springfree and against JumpSport on all of Springfree’s
claims;
B. A declaration that Springfree does not infringe the ’795 patent;
C. A declaration that the ’795 patent is invalid;
D. JumpSport be ordered to immediately terminate any further dissemination
and displaying of the materials complained of herein;
E. JumpSport, its officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys and all
others in active concert or participation with JumpSport, be enjoined and
restrained permanently from:
a. Disseminating, displaying, or otherwise distributing or causing to
be displayed the statements complained of herein or otherwise
insinuating that Springfree trampolines are unsafe;
b. Unfairly competing with Springfree in any manner whatsoever;
c. Causing likelihood of injury to Springfree’s business reputation;
and
d. Committing any other act or making any other statement that
constitutes an act of unjust enrichment;
F. JumpSport be ordered to file with this Court and serve on Springfree
within thirty (30) days after service of such injunction, a written report
under oath pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1116 setting forth in detail the manner
and form in which JumpSport has complied with the injunction;
G. That JumpSport account for and pay over to Springfree its profits and all
damages sustained by Springfree;

COMPLAINT PAGE 16

H. Actual damages and exemplary damages;
I. An award to Springfree of its costs and attorneys’ fees incurred in this
action; and
J. Further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.
JURY DEMAND
Springfree hereby demands trial by jury on all issues so triable.

Dated: July 9, 2014 Respectfully submitted,

By: /s/ Carl E. Bruce

Carl E. Bruce
bruce@fr.com
Texas Bar No. 24036278
Rex A. Mann
mann@fr.com
Texas Bar No. 24075509
Jane J. Du
du@fr.com
Texas Bar No. 24076355
FISH & RICHARDSON P.C.
1717 Main Street, Suite 5000
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 747-5070 (Telephone)
(214) 747-2091 (Facsimile)

COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS
SPRINGFREE L.P. AND SPRINGFREE
TRAMPOLINE USA INC.

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