Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly: “Judge finds ‘exceptional case’ justifying attorneys’ fees”

  • May 15, 2024

Thomas P. McNulty, Counsel for the plaintiff

We are pleased to announce that our client, FabriClear LLC, has successfully recovered attorneys’ fees and costs—in addition to judgment—after more than four years of litigation on various intellectual property and contract claims against Harvest Direct LLC.

FabriClear’s suit alleged that Harvest Direct breached its license and confidentiality agreements with the plaintiff, and the plaintiff asserted claims for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, trade secret misappropriation, unjust enrichment, false designation of origin in violation of the Lanham Act, and unfair trade practices in violation of Chapter 93A. In January 2023, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman granted summary judgment in favor of FabriClear on its claims for breach of the confidentiality agreement, false designation of origin, and violation of Chapter 93A. Last December a jury returned a verdict in favor of FabriClear on its remaining claims.

As plaintiff’s counsel, Tom McNulty spoke to a reporter about the case. The article was published in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Thomas P. McNulty of Lando & Anastasi in Boston, said his client had two bases for requesting attorneys’ fees: the Lanham Act and, alternatively, Chapter 93A.

“The Lanham Act and the patent statute have basically identical language regarding the determination of an exceptional case in an award of attorneys’ fees,” McNulty says, adding that his client’s case met the §285 standard.

“The defendant in this case knew from the outset — from the filing of the complaint — that all of the facts we had alleged [were true],” McNulty says. “Yet [the defendant] chose to litigate every single issue in the case. We think they should have admitted liability up front.”

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