Practices

Litigation

Intellectual Property

Employment Law

Oil and Gas

Appellate

Certification

Board Certified, Civil Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Clerkship

Briefing Attorney for the Honorable Eldon B. Mahon, Senior United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas

Education

J.D. Mississippi College School of Law, 1990, with special distinction

B.A. Texas Christian University, 1987, cum laude

Bar Admissions

State of Texas, 1990

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas

U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

U.S. District Court, Central District of California

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

U. S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana

U.S. District Court, District of Arizona

U.S. District Court, District of Colorado

Joe Cleveland has practiced in the area of commercial and intellectual property litigation for over 20 years. He has extensive trial and appellate experience representing entrepreneurs, inventors, and private and publicly-traded companies. His practice includes a broad range of complex commercial litigation involving patent, copyright, trademark, trade secrets, antitrust, contracts, employment, oil and gas, securities, and other commercial matters. He also represents clients in professional liability, class action and products liability litigation. He has tried civil cases in both state and federal courts and has successfully handled appeals before the United States Supreme Court and various federal courts of appeal. He also assists clients in protecting intellectual property rights before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and the United States Copyright Office.

Mr. Cleveland is Board Certified in Civil Trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization- a mark of excellence and distinguishing accomplishment achieved by fewer than 10% of practicing attorneys in Texas. Board Certified attorneys in Civil Trial Law are specialist in civil litigation involving contracts, businesses and business owners. To achieve board certification, Mr. Cleveland was required to pass a rigorous examination and demonstrate extensive expertise and knowledge in his specialty area. He must also engage in a continuous course of study in his specialty.

Mr. Cleveland was instrumental in drafting the proposed legislation, preparing the bill analysis and testifying before the Senate Committee on State Affairs and the House Technology Committee of the 83rd Texas Legislature in support of the adoption of the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act.  As chair of the Trade Secrets Committee of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, Mr. Cleveland helped draft the Texas Pattern Jury Charge for Misappropriation of Trade Secrets published in the Texas Pattern Jury Charges, which is used by state and federal courts throughout Texas. In the preface to the 2016 edition of the Texas Pattern Jury Charges, it was noted that “the Texas Pattern Jury Charge Committee was indebted to the Trade Secrets Committee for its work on the pattern jury charges for trade-secret misappropriation. Under the leadership of Joseph F. Cleveland, Jr., the Trade Secrets Committee reviewed and provided significant feedback on the committee’s jury charges on misappropriation of trade secrets. The Trade Secrets Committee’s input was invaluable and helpful to ensure the accuracy of those questions and instructions.”

Mr. Cleveland was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America by Woodward White from 2011-2016 for Commercial Litigation and from 2012-2016 for Intellectual Property Litigation. He is listed as Top 100 Dallas/Fort Worth Super Lawyers by Texas Monthly for 2016.  He is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review, signifying the highest level of professional excellence and adherence to the highest ethical standards – a distinction achieved by fewer than 5% of attorneys nationwide. Mr. Cleveland was recognized by Thomson Reuters in Texas Monthly from 2005-2016 as a Super Lawyer in Business Litigation – signifying a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in his practice area. He was also chosen by his peers for inclusion in the List of Top Attorneys for Intellectual Property (2011-2016) in Fort Worth, Texas Magazine. In 2002, he was named the Outstanding Young Lawyer of Tarrant County by the Fort Worth – Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association.

Mr. Cleveland  is a frequent speaker on the topic of intellectual property and trade secrets at seminars throughout the state.

Experience

Rotella v. Wood, 528 U.S. 549 (2000)
United States Supreme Court unanimously affirmed dismissal of Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) claim involving insurance fraud.

BWP Media USA, Inc. v. T & S Software Association, Inc., — F.3d.—, 2017 WL 1149107 (5th Cir. 2017)

In a case of first impression, Fifth Circuit held that a copyright holder must prove “volitional conduct” in any direct copyright infringement claim against an internet service provider.

MGE UPS Systems, Inc. v. GE Consumer and Industrial, Inc., 612 F.3d 760 (5th Cir. 2010)
Successfully defended General Electric in a $100 million Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), copyright infringement, and misappropriation of trade secrets case involving commercial software for sophisticated business equipment.

AZZ Inc. v. Morgan, 462 S.W.3d 284 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2015 , no pet.)
Successfully defended president and his new company in a $3.5 million breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, and breach of contract case involving industrial processes and chemistry for hot-dip galvanizing.

Buxton Co. v. Cavin, 342nd Judicial District Court, Tarrant County, Texas (2013)
Successfully defended programmer and a site selection company in a misappropriation of trade secrets case involving source code for analytic software.

Martin Resources Management Corp. v. AXIS Ins. Co., 803 F.3d 766 (5th Cir. 2015)
Successfully defended excess carrier in multi-million dollar insurance coverage suit involving a directors and officers insurance policy.

Arkoma Basin Project, L.P. v. West Fork Energy Co., LLC, et al., 384 Fed. Appx. 375 (5th Cir. 2010)
Successfully filed and defended on appeal a take nothing judgment where the plaintiffs were seeking $10 million in a  securities fraud and breach of contract case involving the oil and gas industry.

Gillig v. Nike, Inc., 602 F.3d 1354 (Fed. Cir. 2010)
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed in part, reversed and remanded a correction of inventorship claim involving a patent on golf clubs.

MGE UPS Systems, Inc. v. Fakouri Electrical Engineer, Inc., 422 F.Supp.2d 724 (N.D. Tex. 2006)
United States District Court granted summary judgment in favor of servicer of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) equipment on manufacturer’s claim of RICO violations, trademark infringement, and conspiracy.

RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. v. J.J. Fast Stop, Inc., et al., 2003 WL 251318 (N.D. Tex. 2003)
United States District Court granted motion for summary judgment on claim of trade dress infringement.

Murphy v. Fort Worth Independent School District, 258 F.Supp.2d 569 (N.D. Tex. 2003), vacated, 334 F.3d 470 (5th Cir. 2003)
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacated declaratory and injunctive relief due to mootness.

New Railhead Mfg., L.L.C. v. Vermeer Mfg. Co., 219 F.Supp.2d 758 (N.D. Tex. 2001), aff’d, 298 F.3d 1290 (Fed. Cir. 2002)
United States District Court granted summary judgment invalidating drill bit patent due to prior public use and affirmed on appeal.

Rotella v. Wood, 147 F.3d 438 (5th Cir. 1998)
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed dismissal of RICO claim.

Rotella v. Pederson, 144 F.3d 892 (5th Cir. 1998)
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed dismissal of fraud claim.

Fidelity Bank v. Mortgage Funding Corp. of America, 855 F. Supp. 901 (N.D. Tex. 1994), aff’d, 91 F. 3d 138 (5th Cir. 1996)
United States District Court denied motion to dismiss and allowed declaratory judgment action to proceed regarding termination of loan purchase agreement.

FWT, Inc. v. Haskin Wallace Mason Property Mgmt., LLP., 301 S.W.3d 787 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2009, pet. denied)
Texas Court of Appeals affirmed trial court’s summary judgment that commercial  property owner’s right of first refusal on a $16 million option was extinguished.

Collins v. Kappa Sigma Fraternity, – S.W.3d – 2017 WL 218286 (Tex. App. – Fort Worth 2017, n.r.h.)

Successful appeal of summary judgment on breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, defamation and promissory estoppel claims.

Nationwide Power Solutions, Inc. v. Eaton Electrical, Inc. (C.D. California 2007)
Successfully represented 12 independent service organizations in an aftermarket antitrust suit against manufacturer of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) equipment based on diagnostic software and service policies that prevented customers from utilizing independent services. Settled prior to trial.

Eaton Power Quality Corp. v. J.T. Packard and Assoc., Inc. (N.D. Illinois 2005)
Represented independent service provider in copyright infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets and antitrust case involving diagnostic software. Settled prior to trial.

Publications

Cleveland, J., “Mum’s the Word: Protecting Company Information Under the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act,” Texas Bar Journal (February 2016) (cited in Commentaries to the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §134A.001-.008 (2013))

Cleveland, J. and Coffman, J.H., “The Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act,” 45 Tex. J. of Business Law 322 (Fall 2013)

Cleveland, J. and Coffman, J. H., “Protecting Trade Secrets Made Simple: How the Recently Enacted Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act Provides a Legislative Framework for Litigating Cases,” Texas Bar Journal (September 2013) (cited in Commentaries to the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §134A.001-.008 (2013) and in O’Connors, Texas Causes of Action (2015 ed))

Cleveland, J. and Coffman, J. H., “Should Texas Adopt the Uniform Trade Secrets Act?” News for the Bar, State Bar of Texas, Litigation Section (Spring 2013)

Cleveland, J., Preventing Trade Secret Theft Under the New Trade Secrets Law; The Computer & Internet Lawyer (September 2016)

Cleveland, J., Texas Pattern Jury Charge on Trade Secret Misappropriation Near Completion, Practice Points, Intellectual Property Law Section Newsletter, State Bar of Texas (Fall 2014)

Cleveland, J. and Harrell, A., “Is Texas Becoming a Lodestar State? A Practitioner’s Guide to Recovering Attorneys’ Fees Under the Lodestar Method,” Texas Bar Journal (October 2012), republished in the Journal of Consumer & Commercial Law, University of Houston Law Center (Spring 2013)

Cleveland, J., “2013 Year In Review – Trademark Litigation,” Texas Bar Journal (January 2014) Texasbar

Cleveland, J. and Coffman, J. H., “Texas Adopts Uniform Trade Secrets Act,” Fort Worth Business Press (August 2013)

Cleveland, J. and Coffman, J. H., “Protecting Your Company’s Trade Secrets,” Fort Worth Business Press (May 2009)

Presentations

Testimony before the Senate Committee on State Affairs and the House Technology Committee of the 83rd Texas Legislature in support of the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Investiture Ceremony for the Honorable Sidney A. Fitzwater, Chief United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas

Investiture Ceremony for the Honorable Jeffrey L. Cureton, United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Texas

Portrait Hanging Ceremony for the Honorable Alex H. McGlinchy and the Honorable Charles M. Bleil, United States Magistrate Judges for the Northern District of Texas

United States Naturalization Ceremony, Eldon B. Mahon United States District Courthouse

TUTSA v. DTSA – Should I Bring my Case in State or Federal Court?, 30th Annual Advanced Intellectual Property Course

What the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act, The New Federal Trade Secrets Act and The European Directive Mean For the Energy Industry, Energy Industry Intellectual Property Law Conference, Institute for Energy Law and Law and Technology, The Center for American and International Law
Pattern Jury Charge for Misappropriation of Trade Secrets, Intellectual Property Section, State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting

Misappropriation of Trade Secrets and Corporate Espionage: The New Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act in Your Arsenal, Intellectual Property Section, State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting

The New Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Business Law and Corporate Counsel Forum, State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting

Protecting Your Client’s Trade Secrets, Intellectual Property Section, State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting

The Texas Uniform Trade Secret Act and the Changing Landscape of Trade Secret Protection, State Bar of Texas Webcast

TUTSA v. DTSA – Should I Bring my Case in State or Federal Court?, Dallas Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section

Texas Pattern Jury Charges for the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA) and the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, Joint Meeting of the Business Litigation and Intellectual Property Sections of the Tarrant County Bar Association

Protecting Your Client’s Information and Customer Relationships: The Intersection of Non-Competes, Trade Secrets, and Employee Confidentiality Agreements, 14th Annual Advanced Business Law Course

Trade Secrets, 31st Annual Institute of Intellectual Property Law, Houston Intellectual Property Law Association and the University of Houston Law Center

Judicial Advocacy, Inaugural Bench Bar Meeting for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
Protecting Your Client’s Trade Secrets, 11th Annual Advanced Patent Litigation Course

Trade Secrets, Essentials of Business Law 2015, TexasBar CLE

Trade Secrets Year in Review, 52nd Annual Conference on Intellectual Property Law, The Center for American and International Law

Recovering Attorneys’ Fees in Texas, Business Litigation Section of the Tarrant County Bar Association

Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Intellectual Property Law Section of the Tarrant County Bar Association

Intellectual Property, 18th Annual Texas Higher Education Law Conference at the University of North Texas

Protecting Your Company’s Trade Secrets, Intellectual Property Section of the Tarrant County Bar Association

Collection Practices in Texas, Lorman Education Services

Community

Vice Chair, Tarrant County Bar Foundation

President, Montserrat Homeowners’ Association

President, Youth Orchestra of Greater Fort Worth (2001- 2003)

Leadership Fort Worth

Intellectual Property Workshop for startups and inventors in the Rio Grand Valley and Corpus Christi, sponsored by the United States Patent and Trademark office and the Intellectual Property section of the State Bar of Texas.

Professional Recognition

The Best Lawyers in America by Woodward White for Commercial Litigation (2011-2016) and Intellectual Property Litigation (2012-2016)

Super Lawyer in Business Litigation by Thomson Reuters, Texas Monthly (2005-2016)

List of Top 100 Dallas/Fort Worth Super Lawyers by Texas Monthly (2016).

List of Top Attorneys for Intellectual Property (2011-2015), Fort Worth, Texas Magazine

Rated AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review

Outstanding Young Lawyer of Tarrant County by the Fort Worth – Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association (2002)

President, Federal Bar Association – Fort Worth Chapter

Council Member, Intellectual Property Law Section, State Bar of Texas

Chair, Trade Secrets Committee, Intellectual Property Section, State Bar of Texas (2013-2016)

Co-chair, District Court Advisory Committee, United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (1998-2006)

Chair, Technology Subcommittee, District Court Advisory Committee, United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (1998-2006)

Patent and Local Rules Subcommittees, District Court Advisory Committee, United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (1998-2006)

Technology Subcommittee; District Court Advisory Committee, United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (2015-present)

Director, Tarrant County Bar Association (2005-2007)

Chair, Advisory Panel for the reappointment of the Honorable Charles Bleil to United States Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division

Advisory Panel for the reappointment of the Honorable Paul D. Stickney to United States Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division

Conferee, Fifth Circuit Judicial Conference (New Orleans, 1998; Houston, 1999; San Antonio, 2000; New Orleans, 2001; Dallas, 2002; Austin 2004; San Antonio 2007; New Orleans 2009; San Antonio 2011; Fort Worth 2013; New Orleans 2014; New Orleans, 2015)

Barrister, Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court (1997-1999, 2004-2005); Executive Committee/Program Director (1999, 2004)

President’s Certificate of Outstanding Achievement, Tarrant County Bar Association (1999)