HEALTHCARE ADVOCATES v. HARDING, EARLEY, FOLLMER
497 F.Supp.2d 627 (2007)
HEALTHCARE ADVOCATES, INC., Plaintiff,
HARDING, EARLEY, FOLLMER & FRAILEY, et. al., Defendants.
Civil Action No. 05-3524.
United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania.
July 20, 2007.
Peter J. Boyer, McCarter & English, LLP, Philadelphia, PA, Scott S. Christie, McCarter & English, Newark, NJ, for Plaintiff.
Jeffrey P. Lewis, McKissock & Hoffman, PC., West Chester, PA, for Defendants.
ROBERT F. KELLY, Senior District Judge.
Presently before this Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant Harding, Earley, Follmer & Frailey, John F.A. Earley III, Charles L.
Riddle, Frank J. Bonini Jr., and Kimber Titus (collectively the "Harding firm"). Also before this Court is the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment filed by Plaintiff Healthcare Advocates, Inc. For the following reasons, Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is granted, and Plaintiffs Motion for Partial Summary Judgment is denied.
Healthcare Advocates is a patient advocacy organization that assists its members in their dealings with health care providers. The Harding firm is a boutique law firm located in suburban Philadelphia that focuses its practice on intellectual property law. Healthcare Advocates was the plaintiff in a lawsuit filed in June of 2003 by its founder and president Kevin Flynn in which he alleged that a competitor of the company infringed trademarks and misappropriated trade secrets belonging to Healthcare Advocates. The Harding firm represented the defendants in that lawsuit, an action which was dismissed by this Court on summary judgment. Flynn v. Health Advocate, Inc., No. 03-3764, 2005 WL 288989 (E.D.Pa. Feb. 8, 2005) (hereinafter the "Underlying Litigation").
The present civil action arises out of events that occurred in the pre-discovery phase of the Underlying Litigation. The facts of this case are relatively simple. Healthcare Advocates commenced the Underlying Litigation by filing a complaint on June 23, 2003. After receiving the complaint, the Harding firm began investigating the facts behind the allegations contained therein. The investigation led the Harding firm to search on the Internet for information about Healthcare Advocates. On July 9, 2003, and July 14, 2003, employees of the Harding firm accessed a website operated by the Internet Archive (www. archive.org), and viewed archived screenshots1 of Healthcare Advocates' website (www.healthcareadvocates.com) via a tool contained on Internet Archive's website called the Wayback Machine. The Wayback Machine allowed the Harding firm to see what Healthcare Advocates' public website looked like prior to the date the complaint was filed in the Underlying Litigation.
Viewing the content that Healthcare Advocates had included on its public website in the past was very useful to the Harding firm in assessing the merits of the trademark infringement and trade secret misappropriation claims brought against their clients. The Harding firm also printed copies of each archived screenshot of Healthcare Advocates' public website that they viewed via the Wayback Machine. The images were used during the course of the Underlying Litigation. The Harding firm did not actively save any of the screenshots they viewed onto their computer hard drives.