In a case involving a fact pattern that could be on a law school exam, EDVA Judge Mark Davis provides a detailed analysis of a series of issues in a complex dispute between a yacht owner and a marine engine manufacturer. What Hurts, LLC v. Volvo Penta of the Americas, LLC, Civil Action No. 2:22cv552, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3063 (E.D.Va. Jan. 4, 2024)

One issue a patent owner faces when attempting to enforce its patent is the notice given to a potential infringer. By sending a demand letter to a potential infringer, a patentee runs the risk of creating a basis for a declaratory judgment action for noninfringement. If the demand letter accuses the recipient of infringement, for example, the accused infringer can file a declaratory judgment action in a federal district court of its choosing, thus depriving the patentee of the ability to choose where suit is filed.

It is not uncommon for plaintiffs based in the United States to bring claims against foreign parties in U.S. federal courts to obtain a favorable venue and avoid any bias in foreign courts in favor of local defendants. A recent decision by Judge Brinkema in the EDVA involving a contract dispute between a U.S. company and a Saudi Arabian shipyard and the Saudi Ports Authority, however, demonstrates the limits of that strategy.

On December 5, the Richmond Division of the Federal Bar Association hosted a Lunch and Learn panel for chapter members, area practitioners, and a special guest — the Honorable Robert E. Payne. The panel, titled “Procedural Pitfalls for Civil Practitioners in the Eastern District of Virginia: Insights from Senior Judge Robert E Payne,” was co-moderated by Tim St. George, a former Richmond Division chapter president and law clerk to Judge Payne, and David Anthony. Tim and David, both partners at Troutman Pepper, have special experience handling cases in the E.D. Va. and understand the unique rules, risks, and pitfalls for litigants practicing in this division.

As we posted here and here, a defining aspect of practice in the EDVA’s rocket docket is the ability to quickly obtain preliminary relief. A recent decision by Judge Leonie Brinkema again illustrates how swiftly the court can move. GW Acquisition Co., LLC v. Pageland Limited Liability Co., Case No. 1:23-cv-1207, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181048 (Oct. 6, 2023).