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Granger v Acme Abstract Company

Granger v Acme Abstract Company

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Published by Eric Goldman

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Published by: Eric Goldman on Oct 02, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/02/2012

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
JOHN GRANGER,Plaintiff,v.ACME ABSTRACT COMPANY, ACMEABSTRACT, LLC,ROBERT J. LOHR, II, andRALPH SHICATANO,Defendants.CIVIL NO. 09-2119(NLH)(KMW)
OPINION APPEARANCES:
JOHN GRANGER2669 SHILLINGTON ROADSUITE 233SINKING SPRING, PA 19608Appearing
 pro se
MATTHEW GEORGE HAUBERROBERT J. LOHRLOHR & HAUBER, LTD.1246 WEST CHESTER PIKESUITE 312WEST CHESTER, PA 19382 Attorneys for defendants
HILLMAN
, District JudgeThis matter has come before the Court on defendants’ motionfor summary judgment on plaintiff’s claims that defendants violatedplaintiff’s copyrighted title insurance calculators when theyposted the calculators on their website. For the reasons expressedbelow, defendants’ motion will be granted.
 
BACKGROUND
 Plaintiff, John Granger, claims that in 2002 he created the“Pennsylvania Title Insurance Calculator” and the “New JerseyInsurance Calculator” for use on the internet, and he registeredthese works with the U.S. Copyright Office on October 2, 2006. Inhis complaint, plaintiff contends that in October 2003, defendantsAcme Abstract Company and Acme Abstract, LLC, their managing
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member, defendant Robert J. Lohr II, and their website designer,defendant Ralph Shicatano, infringed on his copyrights when histitle insurance calculators were placed on their website, whichadvertised their title insurance business. In May 2006, plaintiffsent defendants a letter in May 2006 informing them that it hadcome to his attention that his copyrighted title insurancecalculators appeared on their website, and he requested thatdefendants provide him with a written licensing agreement allowingthem to do so. “Silence beyond two weeks shall serve as proof thatno written licensing agreement exists” between plaintiff anddefendants. (Def. Ex. 1, May 2, 2006, Letter from John Granger toAcme defendants.)Lohr attempted to contact plaintiff by telephone and email,Both companies ceased operating in 2010 due to poor
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business and sold all assets in an asset sale. The entitiesremain registered in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but neithercompany has a bank account, employees, or assets, and they areexpected to be formally dissolved at the conclusion of thislitigation.
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but plaintiff never responded back. Defendants removed bothcalculators from the website by May 8, 2006. After not hearingagain from plaintiff for several years, on May 1, 2009, plaintiffserved defendants with his instant complaint, claiming copyrightinfringement and other violations, including tortious interferencewith prospective economic advantage, fraudulent business practices,and unfair competition. Defendants have moved for summary judgmentin their favor on all claims. Plaintiff has opposed defendants’motion.
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DISCUSSION A.Jurisdiction
This Court has jurisdiction over plaintiff’s federal claimsunder 28 U.S.C. § 1331, and supplemental jurisdiction overplaintiff’s state law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367.
B.Summary Judgment Standar
Summary judgment is appropriate where the Court is satisfiedthat the materials in the record, including depositions, documents,electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations,stipulations, admissions, or interrogatory answers, demonstratethat there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that theDuring discovery, plaintiff sought sanctions against
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defendants for spoliation of evidence because they did notmaintain, and therefore could not produce, their web server logs.Plaintiff argued that he required those logs to prove his damagesthat defendants profited by their customers’ use of his titleinsurance calculators. Plaintiff’s motion was denied. SeeDocket No. 63.
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