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Gillan and Hartmann, Inc. v. Kimmel Bogrette Architecture Site, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

May 28, 2015

GILLAN AND HARTMANN, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
KIMMEL BOGRETTE ARCHITECTURE SITE, INC., MARTIN D. KIMMEL & MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM

C. Darnell Jones, II J.

I. Procedural History

On February 27, 2015, Gillan and Hartmann, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) filed a Complaint against Kimmel Bogrette Architecture Site, Inc. and Martin D. Kimmel (“Kimmel”), and Montgomery County Community College (“MC3”) (collectively “the Defendants”). (Dkt No. 1 [hereinafter Compl.].) On March 11, 2015, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint against the same Defendants. (Dkt No. 2 [hereinafter AC].)

On March 13, 2015, Plaintiff moved for a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) and a Preliminary Injunction. (Dkt No. 3 [hereinafter Pl Mot.].) On March 16, 2015, MC3 filed a Response in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion. (Dkt No. 5.) On March 19, 2015, Kimmel filed a Response in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion. (Dkt No. 13.) On March 19, 2015, the Court ordered that Plaintiff’s Motion for a TRO was denied, but scheduled a Preliminary Injunction hearing. (Dkt No. 15.) On March 24, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Reply in Support of its Motion for a Preliminary Injunction. (Dkt No. 18 [hereinafter Pl. Rep. to PI Mot.].) On March 24, 2015, the Court held a Preliminary Injunction hearing with all parties. Following the hearing, the parties represented to the Court that settlement may be possible, so the Court suspended the case pending further settlement discussion. (Dkt No. 20.) Following notice from the parties that settlement discussions had failed, the Court removed this case from suspense. (Dkt No. 23.)

On March 20, 2015, MC3 filed a Motion to Dismiss and for Attorneys’ Fees. (Dkt No. 16 [hereinafter MC3 MTD].) On April 3, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Response. (Dkt No. 25.)

On March 31, 2015, Kimmel filed a Motion to Dismiss and for Attorneys’ Fees. (Dkt No. 21 [hereinafter Kimmel MTD].) On April 14, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Response. (Dkt No. 31.)

On April 3, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Motion to amend its Amended Complaint to add an additional party. (Dkt No. 26 [hereinafter Pl. Mot. to Amend].) On April 6, 2015, MC3 filed a Response. (Dkt No. 27.) On April 23, 2015, Kimmel filed a Response. (Dkt No. 32.) On April 27, 2015, Plaintiff filed a praecipe to attach the Amended Complaint to its original motion to amend. (Dkt No. 33.)

On April 6, 2015, the Court held a status telephonic conference with all parties. At this conference, the parties consented to referral to the Honorable Lynne A. Sitarski, United States Magistrate Judge, for a settlement conference. (Dkt No. 28.) The Court’s order required the parties to “promptly contact Chambers with a status update” following the conference. (Dkt No. 28.) On May 27, 2015, the Court received in Chambers a letter from the parties dated May 21, 2015, apprising the Court that settlement discussions had failed.

Thus, there is one ripe motion for a preliminary injunction, two ripe motions to dismiss, two ripe motions for attorneys’ fees, and one ripe motion to amend the Amended Complaint. The Court denies Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction, grants both Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss, denies both Defendants’ Motions for Attorneys’ Fees, and denies Plaintiff’s Motion to amend the Amended Complaint.

II. Plaintiff’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction is DENIED.

a. Facts for Consideration in Preliminary Injunction

Based upon the pleadings, record papers, affidavits, exhibits, and the evidence presented at the hearing held March 24, 2015, the pertinent facts are as follows.

Plaintiff is an engineering firm that performs mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and technology engineering services. (AC ¶ 8.)[1] Plaintiff is a Pennsylvania corporation. (AC ¶ 1.) Kimmel is an architecture and engineering firm that performs architectural and engineering work for construction projects, specializing in work for municipalities and universities. (AC ¶ 9.) “Kimmel” includes a Pennsylvania corporation and a resident of Pennsylvania. (AC ¶ 2.) MC3 is a two year, community college. (AC ¶ 10.) MC3 is a Pennsylvania municipal corporation. (AC ¶ 3.)

Plaintiff has alleged claims under federal copyright law and various Pennsylvania law claims. Given that there is no diversity of citizenship between the parties, jurisdiction in this Court is proper only pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1331 due to Plaintiff’s federal copyright law claim. (AC ¶ 5.) The Court has supplemental jurisdiction over the Pennsylvania claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). (AC ¶ 7.)

In May, 2010, MC3 contracted Kimmel to perform a feasibility study to identify and define the design and construction work for an envisioned Health Sciences Center (“the Project”). (AC ¶ 11.) On December 22, 2010, Kimmel issued a final report on the Project. (AC ¶ 13.) On May 8, 2013, MC3 issued a Request for Proposals for Architectural and Engineering Services (“RFP”) soliciting proposals for architectural firms to perform design services required for the Project. (AC ¶ 15.) MC3 selected Kimmel, and entered into a written prime consulting contract with Kimmel for architectural design services (“the Prime Agreement”) on October 14, 2013. (AC ¶ 16; AC, Ex. A [hereinafter Prime Agreement].) Plaintiff entered into a subcontracting contract (“the Contract”) with Kimmel for the creation of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and technology engineering drawings on October 14, 2013. (AC ¶ 19; AC, Ex. A [hereinafter Contract].) Both the Contract and the Prime Agreement are based on modified versions of standard forms issued by the American Institute of Architects (“AIA”). The Prime Agreement is incorporated into the Contract. (Contract § 1.1.)

The copyrighted materials in dispute include mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and technology engineering design plans, specifications, and engineering calculations (collectively “the copyrighted design”). (Pl. Mot. at 4; AC ¶ 20.) The copyrighted design was registered by Plaintiff on February 20, 2015. (Gillan Aff. ¶ 8; AC ¶ 21.) Following termination, Kimmel did not fully compensate Plaintiff for the work Plaintiff completed on the design. ...


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