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SIIA Continues Anti-Piracy Campaign with New Kaplan Test Prep Piracy Lawsuits
Friday, April 30, 2010
Industry's Most Aggressive Anti-Piracy Program Files Three New Cases Against Online Sellers of Counterfeit Test Prep Materials
Washington, DC -- The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, today announced the filing of three new test prep piracy cases. On behalf of SIIA member Kaplan, SIIA investigated and filed this latest round of lawsuits against online sellers of counterfeit or unauthorized copies of Kaplan's United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) preparation materials. In conducting their illegal activities, the defendants used either Google or Blogspot commercial sites.
"SIIA is aggressively pursuing all individuals who use the Internet to profit from someone else's creative works," said Scott Bain, litigation counsel for SIIA. "These charges have the unfortunate potential to ruin the lives of the young defendants involved. Our action sends a clear message to would-be pirates that copying or illegally selling any kind of content is a real crime with serious consequences. The reality is that these defendants stand to lose much more than they could ever gain."
"The defendants not only illegally sold Kaplan test prep products, but they used Kaplan's logos to market their counterfeit materials and deceive medical students into believing they were receiving Kaplan quality materials," said Preeti Torres, Deputy General Counsel for Kaplan's test prep division. "Test prep piracy not only undermines Kaplan's investment and its creative capital, but it also misleads students into believing they have bought the genuine product. Buying and using these illegitimate products can adversely affect a student's future medical career."
The lawsuits, filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, charged the following three defendants and their unknown accomplices with knowingly engaging in both copyright infringement and trademark infringement through the fraudulent sale of Kaplan USMLE preparation materials.
- Carlos Ocampo of Yonkers, NY
- Loganathan Pragash of Chicago, Illinois
- Husein Poonawala of Chicago, Illinois
In January, SIIA won a landmark judgment against Kenneth Chou, the leading online seller of counterfeit Kaplan test materials. Chou, a medical student at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University, was ordered to pay $400,000, including $250,000 in damages and $150,000 in legal fees. Due to his illegal activities, Chou was also expelled from school during the course of the case, which was filed by SIIA and Kaplan in late 2007.
The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is the principal trade association for the software and digital content industry. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to more than 500 leading software and information companies. For further information, visit: www.siia.net.
About SIIA Anti-Piracy
The Software & Information Industry Association's Anti-Piracy Division conducts a comprehensive, industry-wide campaign to fight software and content piracy. The proactive campaign is premised on the notion that one must balance enforcement with education in order to be effective.
About Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions
Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions (www.kaptest.com), a division of Kaplan, Inc., is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings and a complete array of books, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.
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