Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Humphreys & Partners Architects, L.P. v. Lessard Design, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division

September 2, 2014

HUMPHREYS & PARTNERS ARCHITECTS, L.P., Plaintiff,
v.
LESSARD DESIGN, INC., et al., Defendants

Page 645

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 646

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 647

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 648

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 649

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 650

For Humphreys & Partners Architects, L.P., Plaintiff, Counter Defendant: Walter Dekalb Kelley, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, Tara Lynn Renee Zurawski, Jones Day (DC), Washington, DC.

For Lessard Design, Inc., Lessard Group Inc., Christian J. Lessard, Defendants, Counter Claimants: Christopher P. Foley, LEAD ATTORNEY, Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP (VA), Reston, VA; Antigone Gabriella Peyton, Cloudigy Law PLLC, McLean, VA.

For Clark Builders Group, LLC, PDT Builders, LLC, The Penrose Group, Defendants, Counter Claimants: Antigone Gabriella Peyton, Cloudigy Law PLLC, McLean, VA; Jennifer Allen Sands Atkins, Kirkland & Ellis LLP (DC), Washington, DC; Paul Anthony Varela, Watt Tieder Hoffar & Fitzgerald LLP, McLean, VA.

For SIXTH PENROSE INVESTING COMPANY LLC, Defendant, Counter Claimant: Antigone Gabriella Peyton, LEAD ATTORNEY, Cloudigy Law PLLC, McLean, VA; Jennifer Allen Sands Atkins, Kirkland & Ellis LLP (DC), Washington, DC.

For NORTHWESTERN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT COMPANY, LLC, The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Defendants: Craig Crandall Reilly, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Office of Craig C. Reilly, Alexandria, VA; Christopher Bowmar Mead, London & Mead, Washington, DC.

For Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, L.L.P., Christopher P. Foley, Margaret A. Esquenet, Movants: Ellen D. Marcus, LEAD ATTORNEY, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP (M St), Washington, DC.

Page 651

MEMORANDUM OPINION

T.S. Ellis, III, United States District Judge.

This is an architectural works copyright infringement action. Plaintiff claims that defendants' design and construction of the high-rise apartment building known as " Two Park Crest" in McLean, Virginia, infringes plaintiff's architectural works copyright embodied in a high-rise condominium building in Minneapolis, Minnesota, known as Grant Park. Defendants deny infringement, contending that they did not copy the Grant Park design and that the Two Park Crest design is not substantially similar to, and hence does not infringe the Grant Park design. Defendants also assert various counterclaims and defenses, including a challenge to the validity of the copyright and to its enforceability. Following full discovery, the parties filed numerous motions, cross-motions, and partial motions for summary judgment, all of which have been fully briefed and are now ripe for disposition.

I.

A. Parties

Plaintiff Humphreys & Partners Architects, L.P. (" Humphreys" ) is a limited partnership organized under the laws of Texas with its principal place of business in Dallas, Texas. Humphreys claims to be the author and sole owner of the copyright in the Grant Park design, which is registered as an architectural work with the United States Copyright Office as Number VAu 579-008, with an effective date of February 19, 2003. Mark Humphreys (" Mr. Humphreys" ) is the founder, president, and CEO of Humphreys.

The nine defendants currently in this case fall into four groups: (1) the Lessard defendants, (2) the Penrose defendants, (3) the Northwestern defendants, and (4) Clark Builders Group.

1. The Lessard Defendants

Defendant Lessard Design, Inc. (" Lessard Design" ) is a corporation organized under the laws of Virginia with its principal place of business in Vienna, Virginia. After the dissolution of Lessard Urban Inc. (" Lessard Urban" )--the entity originally hired to design the Two Park Crest project--the dissolved company's revenues flowed into Lessard Design. Thus, Lessard Design is the successor to Lessard Urban as the designer of Two Park Crest. Lessard Design is a subsidiary of co-defendant Lessard Group Inc. (" Lessard Group" ), a corporation organized under the laws of Virginia with its principal place of business in Vienna, Virginia. Lessard Group is the parent corporation of co-defendant Lessard Design.

Defendant Christian J. Lessard (" Mr. Lessard" ), an architect who resides in Virginia, is the sole shareholder of Lessard

Page 652

Design and was a majority shareholder (90%) of Lessard Urban. Mr. Lessard was an employee of Lessard Urban and Lessard Group until December 2010, at which time he became an employee of Lessard Design. During the time that he was an employee of each of these companies, Mr. Lessard drew a salary from the company he was working for at the time. Mr. Lessard worked on the Two Park Crest project as a consultant and he personally guaranteed Lessard Design's performance on the Two Park Crest project. Lessard Design, Lessard Group, and Mr. Lessard are collectively referred to as the " Lessard defendants."

2. The Penrose Defendants

Defendant The Penrose Group, which has its principal place of business in Vienna, Virginia, is an ongoing enterprise of individuals who have joined together by mutual consent for the purpose of creating and promoting various real estate and other development projects. Once development activities for a particular project have proceeded to a certain point, The Penrose Group forms one or more project-specific companies to manage the development project. Individuals who are members of The Penrose Group include Mark Gregg, Olav Kollevoll, Tim McDonald, and Ron Testa. The Penrose Group was involved in the development of Two Park Crest as early as 2008. In 2010, The Penrose Group was responsible for soliciting design services proposals for Two Park Crest and for eventually hiring Lessard Urban as the architect for the project.

Defendant Sixth Penrose Investing Company LLC (" Sixth Penrose" ) is a limited liability investment company organized under the laws of Virginia with its principal place of business in Vienna, Virginia. The Penrose Group created Sixth Penrose in early 2011 as a single-purpose entity to enter into a joint venture with an unrelated company--The Donohoe Companies, Inc. (" Donohoe" )--to create PDT Builders LLC (" PDT" ), a limited liability company organized under the laws of Virginia with its principal place of business in Vienna, Virginia, for the purpose of managing the development of the Two Park Crest project.

In the parlance of the real estate development industry, PDT was the " fee developer" for the Two Park Crest project. As a majority investing member, Sixth Penrose has a 70% stake in PDT and Donohoe has a 30% stake in PDT. The Penrose Group, Sixth Penrose, and PDT are ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.