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Honorable Joseph Vincent "Joe" Colaianni
Viewing: July 2, 2018 (Monday) from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Service: July 3, 2018 (Tuesday) at 11:00 a.m.
Location: Holy Cross Catholic Church, 4900 Strathmore Ave. Garrett Park, MD 20896

The Hon. Joseph V. Colaianni, 85, a retired federal judge and noted intellectual property attorney, passed away on June 26, 2018.  Joseph Vincent Colaianni was born on March 19, 1933 in Detroit, Michigan to the late Pasquale Colaianni and Domenica Mastrantonio.  Mr. Colaianni’s parents immigrated to the United States from Italy in the early decades of the twentieth century, settling in Detroit.  Mr. Colaianni showed an early affinity for science and mathematics, and won a scholarship to Cass Technical High School, a four-year university preparatory high school in Detroit.  

Mr. Colaianni received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Detroit in 1956 while working at Burroughs Corporation.  Upon developing an aptitude for legal reasoning and the law, he decided to attend law school and moved to Washington, DC to attend George Washington University Law School.  Upon graduating from law school in 1960, he embarked on a legal career in the intellectual property field, focusing primarily on acquiring and litigating United States patents.  Shortly after graduating law school, he met the former Rita Milena Roll and they were married at Mount Calvary Catholic Church in District Heights, Maryland on October 13, 1962.  Mr. Colaianni went into private practice at intellectual property law firms in Toledo and Cleveland, Ohio, before returning to the Washington, DC area as a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1966 to 1970.  

Mr. Colaianni was appointed as a trial judge on the United States Court of Federal Claims in 1970.  During his fourteen years on the bench, Judge Colaianni presided over trials involving claims against the United States Government and authored many influential opinions in cases involving patents and intellectual property disputes.  Judge Colaianni retired from the federal bench in 1984 and reentered private practice first as the managing partner of the Washington, D.C. office of Pennie & Edmonds (1984-98) then established an intellectual property law practice at Patton Boggs LLP, from which he retired in 2014 after a distinguished career spanning over five decades.   

During his career, Mr. Colaianni served as an adjunct professor of law at American University and The Catholic University of America for many years.  He was also the recipient of many professional awards recognizing his industry leadership over the years.   Judge Colaianni was proud of his Italian ancestry and was very involved in the Italian-American community in the Washington area for many years.  He served as president of the Lido Civic Club in 1983, and was active in the National Italian-American Foundation and Holy Rosary Church in Washington.  Mr. Colaianni was knighted by the President of Italy in 1983 for Public Service and Judicial Service.  

Mr. Colaianni was a devoted husband, father and grandfather.  In his later years, nothing made him happier than being in the presence of his grandchildren.  Mr. Colaianni was preceded in death by his wife Rita, who died in 2010.   He is survived by his four children Marie Treanor (Richard) of Annapolis, Joseph Jr. (Jennifer) of Vienna, Michael (Francesca) of Rockville, and Vincent (Sabrina) of Rockville, eleven grandchildren (Jack, Ricky, Matthew, Katherine, Joey, Milena, Michael, Alessandro, Victoria, Isabella, and Teresa), his sister Eleanor Rockne and brother Philip (Barbara), and many loving friends and family.  

Friends may call at DeVol Funeral Home, 10 East Deer Park Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 on Monday, July 2, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 4900 Strathmore Ave. Garrett Park, MD 20896 on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at 11 a.m. 

Interment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to American Cancer Society:


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