FAIRFAX, Va., Oct. 4 — Two separate courts in California recently ruled in favor of the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) in litigation involving California Crane School and its owner, John Nypl.
In National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators vs. California Crane School, Inc., and John Nypl, et al., a federal judge found that California Crane School and Nypl were in civil contempt for violating a 2005 permanent injunction issued against them. It also found that they had breached a 2005 settlement agreement with NCCCO. In July, the federal judge in the action entered a final judgment in favor of NCCCO.
"NCCCO brought this legal action reluctantly and only as a last resort," stated NCCCO President, John M. Kennedy. "Where there is evidence of inappropriate conduct by firms or individuals who seek to associate themselves with CCO certification, however, NCCCO must take immediate and effective action to protect the integrity of the CCO credential. To do otherwise could jeopardize the value of CCO certification and put at risk those who rely on it to mitigate the hazards associated with working around cranes."
In the recent federal case, the unlawful conduct by California Crane School and Nypl stemmed from their misappropriation and use of the "CCO" logo and acronym in certain domain names. Among other things, the court directed California Crane School and Nypl to transfer the domain names to NCCCO, post corrective notices to clarify that California Crane School is not endorsed by nor associated with NCCCO, and reimburse NCCCO for its attorney’s fees and costs.
Separately, in a California state court, a judge recently dismissed several claims brought against NCCCO by California Crane School, Nypl, and several other plaintiffs. The plaintiffs’ complaint demanded more than $30 million from NCCCO for alleged violations of the Cartwright Act (California’s antitrust law) and the California Unfair Competition Law.
In April, after giving the plaintiffs several opportunities to amend their complaint, the court dismissed the antitrust and unfair competition claims, finding that the allegations failed to state a claim against NCCCO and also denying permission for the plaintiffs to reassert those claims. The plaintiffs were allowed to proceed only with their individual claims.
The CCO logo and acronym are the exclusive property of NCCCO and may not be used without prior written permission. While firmly enforcing its rights against unauthorized uses, NCCCO encourages appropriate, authorized uses of its logos and acronyms in compliance with its written policies. For more information regarding NCCCO’s logos and acronyms, please refer to the link titled "Policy Statements" at the bottom of the NCCCO website homepage.
NCCCO is an independent, nonprofit industry organization formed in 1995 to develop effective performance standards for safe crane operation. In the past 15 years NCCCO has administered more than 500,000 written and practical exams to over 100,000 crane operators in all 50 states. NCCCO certification programs are the only programs to be recognized by federal OSHA as meeting both OSHA and ASME (ANSI) requirements and accredited by both NCCA and ANSI.