Charles Carreon v. Matthew Inman, et al.

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Lawsuit

Date: 

06/15/2012

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

California

Disposition: 

Dismissed (total)

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
Charles Carreon is an attorney, who was retained by FunnyJunk, LLC, on matters related to the website FunnyJunk.com. On June 2, 2012, Carreon sent a letter on behalf of FunnyJunk to Matthew Inman, creator of TheOatmeal.com, which threatened legal action and demanded... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Matthew Inman, Indiegogo, Inc., National Wildlife Federation, American Cancer Society, and Does 1-100

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Individual
Organization
Large Organization

Location of Party: 

  • Arizona

Location of Party: 

  • California
  • Georgia
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Legal Counsel: 

Attorney Venkat Balasubramani (for Defendant Inman); Attorney Sarah T. Grilli (for Defendant American Cancer Society); Attorney Richard L. Grossman (for Defendant American Cancer Society); Attorney Mark Allan Lemley (for Defendant Indiegogo, Inc.); C
Description

Charles Carreon is an attorney, who was retained by FunnyJunk, LLC, on matters related to the website FunnyJunk.com. On June 2, 2012, Carreon sent a letter on behalf of FunnyJunk to Matthew Inman, creator of TheOatmeal.com, which threatened legal action and demanded $20,000 on the basis of a blog post. For more information about this correspondence, see FunnyJunk, LLC vs. TheOatmeal.com.

On June 12, 2012, Inman posted an informal response to the June 2 letter on TheOatmeal.com. The post, inter alia, announced that Inman planned to raise $20,000 in donations, and that he would donate the money to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. A link at the bottom of the post directed readers to a page on Indiegogo.com, a fundraising website. By its conclusion, the fundraising effort generated $220,024. 

On June 15, 2012, Carreon filed a lawsuit against Inman, Indiegogo, Inc., the National Wildlife Federation, the American Cancer Society, and 100 anonymous Internet users based on the fundraising effort and other events allegedly caused by Inman. 

According to Carreon's initial complaint, he suffered a number of online attacks as a result of Inman's actions, including an attempt to reset the password to his website, and the creation of a Twitter account with the handle @Charles_Carreon. 

Carreon alleged several causes of action including trademark infringement, unfair competition, impersonation, and incitement to commit cybervandalism. Carreon also alleged that Inman and Indiegogo, Inc. had failed to file forms required by Cal. Gov. Code §§ 12580, et seq. and Cal. B&P Code §§ 17510, et seq., and were thereby conducting the fundraising effort unlawfully. Carreon further sought to impose a trust on the proceeds of the fundraising effort. 

Carreon alleged that the tweets published by an unknown user from the @Charles_Carreon account were a violation of the trademark he holds on his name, and that the attempt to reset the password to his website constituted a trespass to chattels. He claimed that Inman had incited cybervandalism through the fundraising campaign and other postings. 

On June 18, 2012, an anonymous individual registered the username "Modelista" on Ars Technica and commented on an Ars Technica post that he or she ran the @Charles_Carreon Twitter account. 

On June 25, 2012, Carreon filed an amended complaint. In the amended complaint, Carreon named California State Attorney General Kamala Harris as a party to the case to facilitate judgment on his claim for imposition of a trust. Carreon also named "Modelista" as the Doe defendant responsible for the @Charles_Carreon Twitter account.

On June 30, 2012, Carreon filed a motion for a temporary restraining order in an effort to prevent the disbursement of the funds generated by the fundraiser to Inman or any other entity, as well as a memorandum in support of the motion.  

On July 1, 2012, Indiegogo, Inc. filed an opposition to the motion stating that funds had been disbursed to the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Fund by check on June 29, 2012 and that this rendered Carreon's motion for a temporary restraining order moot.  

On July 2, 2012, the court entered an order requiring that Inman file proof of the delivery of the checks to the two charities. 

On July 3, 2012, Carreon filed a notice of voluntary dismissal.  

Details

Publication Medium: 

Website

Subject Area: 

  • Trademark
  • Blogs
  • Cyberbullying
  • Twitter
  • Social Media
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • California

Source of Law: 

  • United States
  • California

Court Name: 

U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

Court Type: 

Federal

Case Number: 

3:2012-cv-03112

Relevant Documents: