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Business Law

EDVA: “We buy houses” trademark generic, unenforceable (access required)

A company that obtained a trademark for the phrase “we buy houses” cannot enforce it, because the phrase was used extensively by industry participants to describe a class of services rather than any particular service provider. Background Plaintiff Express Homebuyers ...

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WDVA: Trade-secrets claim against competitor goes forward (access required)

In arranging a site visit from a competitor, a cooking-oil refinery’s attempt to safeguard its technology via prior agreement was only partially successful. Though largely unenforceable, the agreement demonstrated the plaintiff’s desire and reasonable efforts to maintain its technology as ...

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EDVA: Jury must decide whether conduct waived non-waiver clause (access required)

In a contract dispute between a Dominion subsidiary and a pipeline-construction company, the court resolved some issues related to non-payment claims, but held that the scope of the parties’ contract and certain aspects of its performance could not be determined ...

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WDVA: Court strikes “faux counterclaims” against non-parties (access required)

In trade-secret litigation concerning a disputed international patent for a sugar substitute, a defendant’s attempt to “join” related counter-defendants was procedurally improper under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 13(h). Background Sugar tastes good. But it’s unhealthy. So companies and scientists ...

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SCV: Creditor deserved trial on objections to modified judgment (access required)

After granting a judgment debtor’s motion to reduce the amount of a confessed judgment, the circuit court erred in not setting the creditor’s objections to the modified amount for trial. Background On November 19, 2008, Appellee Hunter Mill West executed ...

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4th Cir.: Company’s agreement with feds preserved privilege for subsidiary’s disclosures (access required)

A written agreement between a corporation and the government preserved the company’s attorney-client privilege and work-product protection for information that the general counsel of a subsidiary entity disclosed to the government. Background Several years ago, federal prosecutors opened a grand ...

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Va. Cir.: “Unsigned” contract qualifies for 5-year limitations period (access required)

The material terms of the parties’ contract for services were committed to writing in daily sales tickets and an invoice for hours of services performed. Absent additional conditions agreed upon by the parties, an unsigned writing can be a written ...

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EDVA: Transfer to venue of company HQ was warranted (access required)

Although the plaintiff’s choice of venue would ordinarily be entitled to great weight, several factors tipped the balance in favor of transfer to California, including the location of the defendant company’s headquarters, the location of key witnesses, and the small ...

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Va. Cir.: Neighboring business was not entity’s registered agent (access required)

This court granted judgment by default against all three Defendants for $85,851, attorney’s fees, and costs. After the Plaintiffs attempted to execute the judgment several times, the Defendants moved to set aside the default judgment on four grounds. The court ...

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EDVA: CEO’s references to contractor plausibly defamatory (access required)

A manufacturer stated a claim for defamation against the project-management company for whom it had provided turbines, based on oblique comments about “quality control” made by the company’s CEO on its shareholder earnings call. Background In this action, Plaintiff Fluor ...

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