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Judge Leonie Brinkema

Dec 10, 2020

‘Intersexual flirtation’ doesn’t make environment hostile

Where an employee’s supervisor allegedly touched his shoulder and bicep, placed her hand on the small of his back, briefly rubbed his earlobe and made a few positive remarks about his appearance, these actions did not amount to the level of “severe and pervasive” harassment that the Fourth Circuit requires for a hostile work environment. […]

Nov 13, 2020

Patent term adjustment is not appropriate

Where the patent was not issued under a decision in the Patent Trial and Appeal Board or federal court reversing an adverse determination of patentability, the United States Patent and Trademark Office did not err in concluding the plaintiff was not entitled to an extension. Background Before 1999, the term of a patent was 17 […]

Sep 18, 2020

Claim dismissed due to eight-year delay

Where the plaintiffs waited at least eight years before moving to hold the defendant in contempt for violating a prior injunction, the contempt claim was dismissed because the significant delay prejudiced the defendant. Background Before the court is defendant i-TV’s motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ contempt claim, which plaintiffs oppose. In its motion, i-TV makes three […]

Sep 11, 2020

Judgment entered for unsatisfied purchase order amount

Where a telecommunications systems provider delivered equipment to the defendant pursuant to a purchase order, the defendant did not pay for the equipment and never responded to the suit, a judgment in the amount of $485,592 was awarded to the telecom provider. Background On April 6, 2020, Compunetix Inc. filed the instant action against Federal […]

Jun 11, 2020

No duty to defend insureds in faulty construction lawsuits

Where lawsuits brought against the insureds alleging shoddy construction of townhouses were “replete” with allegations of intentional conduct, that conduct is neither an “occurrence” nor an “accident,” so the insurer’s duty-t0-defend was not triggered. Allegations of negligent conduct were unsupported by the facts and did not trigger coverage without resulting property damage. Backg[...]

Jun 4, 2020

Franchisor awarded most of attorneys’ fees, costs in trademark suit

Franchisees of urgent care centers who continued using the trademarks, service marks and a franchise system without authorization must pay most of the plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees. The claimed partner hourly rate of $400 and associate rate of $200-275 per hour were below market, and the submitted hours were largely reasonable, and required only a slight […]

Jun 4, 2020

PTO did not discriminate or retaliate against ex-employee

The Merit Systems Protection Board, or MSPB, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission did not err in upholding the dismissal of plaintiff from the Patent and Trademark Office. The plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies or did not engage in the process in good faith, he did not suffer an adverse employment action, did […]

May 29, 2020

Attorneys’ fees denied where Lanham Act case was not ‘exceptional’

Although the defendants prevailed at summary judgment by demonstrating the Lanham Act claims were time-barred, attorneys’ fees were denied because the plaintiff’s claims were not frivolous or objectively unreasonable, its litigation approach was not so unreasonable as to render it exceptional and the lawsuit was not brought in bad faith. Background American Majestic Construction LLC […]

May 29, 2020

Crime-fraud exception applies where lawyer committed crime or fraud

A law firm defendant must produce attorney-client privileged documents because the crime-fraud exception is applicable where the attorney purportedly committed a crime or fraud, there was a prima facie showing he engaged in criminal conduct and the Noerr-Pennington doctrine was inapplicable. However, because the attorney’s new counsel did not act inappropriately, a prior award of […]

May 25, 2020

Judge approves fee award in franchise fight

An Alexandria federal judge has approved a nearly $129,000 fee award in a battle over franchise rights for a Herndon doctor and his urgent care clinic. The fee ruling came after the doctor lost his legal team following a failed court-mediated settlement conference last year. Four attorneys withdrew and the remaining lawyer later was suspended […]

May 14, 2020

RICO can’t be based on defamatory conduct

Defamation allegations in a case involving an alleged scheme to defraud a company out of millions of dollars in student loan debt do not provide the requisite predicate for civil claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. A tortious interference counterclaim failed to show intentional breach or termination of the agreements, and a […]

May 14, 2020

Nonprofit has standing to challenge military policies

A nonprofit that works with servicemembers who are LGBTQ+ and/or HIV positive had direct standing to challenge the military’s accession and retention policies that forced the  organization to divert resources from other programs and impaired its ability to carry out its core mission. Background Before the court are two related civil actions challenging the military’s […]

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