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CVD Equipment Corp. v. PrecisionFlow Technologies

March 27, 2007

CVD EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PRECISIONFLOW TECHNOLOGIES, INC., KEVIN BRADY, CHRISTOPHER JOSEPH SCHLENKER, SCOTT CALABRESE, SCOTT FISCHER, STEPHEN BRADY, AND TERRENCE BRADY, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Norman A. Mordue, Chief U.S. District Judge

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

INTRODUCTION

Defendants move (Dkt. No. 20) for the following relief:

(1) dismissal of the unjust enrichment and unfair competition causes of action in the amended complaint (Dkt. No. 8) on the ground of preemption;

(2) dismissal of the amended complaint on the ground that it is duplicative of a prior action pending before this Court; or

(3) in the alternative, a stay of the instant action pending resolution of the prior action.

For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies the motion in its entirety.

AMENDED COMPLAINT

The instant action was commenced on May 14, 2002. In the amended complaint (Dkt. No. 8), filed on August 26, 2002, plaintiff CVD Equipment Corporation ("CVD") alleges that it is in the business of providing custom gas and chemical delivery systems and services for computer chip fabrication; that in 1998, at a secured party public auction, it purchased from Fleet National Bank the assets, including intellectual property and intangible assets, of Stainless Design Corporation ("SD Corp."); that CVD markets and sells products embodying the SD Corp. intellectual property purchased by CVD; and that CVD has filed copyright applications and/or obtained copyright registrations in accordance with the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 101 et seq., covering some of the SD Corp. intellectual property purchased by CVD.

The amended complaint further alleges that CVD's competitor, defendant PrecisionFlow Technologies, Inc. ("PFT"), is also in the business of providing custom gas and chemical delivery systems and services for computer chip fabrication; that the majority of the founding shareholders of PFT and a number of PFT's employees were former employees of SD Corp.; that the individual defendants were officers and/or employees at SD Corp.; that while at SD Corp. they had access to SD Corp.'s intellectual property; and that, through the individual defendants, PFT has come into possession of and has been using the SD Corp. intellectual property purchased by CVD.

The first cause of action alleges that CVD is the exclusive owner of the copyrights in works referred to as "Works I" and Works II" and that defendants have copied, used, marketed, and/or distributed infringing copies and/or derivative works of Works I and Works II, thereby infringing one or more of CVD's copyrights in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 501.

The second cause of action sounds in unfair competition. It asserts that defendants have copied, used, and sold products embodying CVD's proprietary materials and confidential information through an abuse of confidential and/or fiduciary relationships.

In the third cause of action, sounding in unjust enrichment, CVD claims that defendants have been unjustly enriched by their misappropriation of products embodying CVD's intellectual property and/or proprietary and confidential information.

CVD seeks declaratory relief, injunctive relief, an order requiring the impounding and forfeiture of the infringing products and related materials, an accounting, money damages, ...


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