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Pentagen Technologies International Limited v. CACI International Inc.

February 23, 2007

PENTAGEN TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL LIMITED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CACI INTERNATIONAL INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
PENTAGEN TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL LIMITED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CACI INTERNATIONAL INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
PENTAGEN TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL LIMITED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
J.P. LONDON, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gerard E. Lynch, District Judge

OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Pentagen Technologies International Limited ("Pentagen") moves pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6) to vacate final judgments entered by this Court (Hon. Michael B. Mukasey, United States District Judge) in 1996. The motion will be denied.

BACKGROUND

The sorry history of this litigation would take far more space to detail than it is worth. Suffice to say that Pentagen, the owner of a software program called "Mentix," has pursued claims against defendant CACI International Inc. and related individuals and entities (collectively, "CACI"), and against the United States Government, for conversion, fraud, false claims, RICO violations, copyright infringement or other violations in at least ten separate actions in three United States District Courts,*fn1 the Court of Federal Claims,*fn2 and on appeal to three different circuits.*fn3 It has achieved no success, though it has accumulated characterizations of its arguments as "frivolous"*fn4 or "ridiculous,"*fn5 sanctions for abusive litigation tactics,*fn6 and injunctions prohibiting it and its former counsel from filing any more cases.*fn7 Pentagen's claims, in the instant actions and in most of the other cases discussed, derive from its contention that CACI and the Government developed a derivative version of Mentix.

Most of these repeated litigations can be ignored for present purposes. The judgments in the present case dismissed three consolidated actions brought by Pentagen against CACI based on a characteristically thorough and carefully-reasoned opinion by Judge Mukasey. Pentagen Technologies Int'l, Ltd. v. CACI Int'l Inc., No. 93 Civ. 8512 (MBM), 1996 WL 435157 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 2, 1996). Judge Mukasey reached the following conclusions:

1. Pentagen's federal claims of copyright and trademark infringement were precluded by a final judgment of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. CACI Int'l Inc. v. Pentagen Technologies, Ltd., No. CV-93-1631-A, 1994 WL 1752376 (E.D. Va. June 16, 1994) (Hon. Leonie M. Brinkema, J.). 1996 WL 435157 at *9. This preclusion extended to Pentagen's claims against Jack London, CACI's then-president, although London was not a party to the Virginia action, because he was in privity with CACI. Id. at *17.

2. Pentagen's claim that CACI had violated the Major Fraud Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1031, was precluded because Congress had not authorized a private right of action under that statute. Id. at *11-*12. Its claims that CACI had violated various provisions of the New York Penal Law were dismissed for similar reasons. Id. at *15-*16. Its claims that CACI had violated Virginia's criminal law were dismissed because they were based on "fictitious" or "phantom" provisions of the Virginia Criminal Code that did not actually exist. Id. at *16.

3. Pentagen's claim for conversion was preempted by the federal Copyright Act. Id. at *13-*14.

4. Pentagen's claim for misappropriation of trade secrets -- which was not in fact asserted in any of its complaints -- was dismissed for failure to state a cause of action, because "Pentagen has not alleged any facts to support a finding that CACI owed Pentagen a duty of confidentiality." Id. at *15.

Pentagen appealed the dismissal, but withdrew the appeal without filing a brief, and the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal on May 25, 2000.

DISCUSSION

Pentagen now moves to vacate Judge Mukasey's decision pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(6), which permits a court to "relieve a party . . . from a final judgment" for "any other reason [besides such matters as mistake, newly discovered evidence, or fraud] justifying relief from the operation of the judgment." This Court has summarized the law governing relief from judgment under Rule 60(b):

Rule 60(b) is designed to strike a balance between serving the ends of justice and preserving the finality of judgments. A motion for relief from judgment is generally not favored and is properly granted only upon a showing of exceptional circumstances. In addition to demanding that the movant show exceptional circumstances, the courts of this circuit also require that the evidence in support of the motion be highly convincing, that the movant show good cause for the failure to act sooner, and that no undue hardship be imposed on the other parties as a result.

Freedom, N.Y., Inc. v. United States, 438 F. Supp. 2d 457, 462 (S.D.N.Y. 2006) (citations and ...


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