Arlington Industries, Inc. v. Bridgeport Fittings, Inc.

Docket No. 2013-1357

July 17, 2014

Brief Summary: Appeal of DC decision on injunction dismissed for lack of jurisdiction (DC did not modify injunction but “simply interpreted or clarified” it.

Summary: Arlington and Bridgeport entered into a settlement agreement regarding Arlington’s US 6,335,448 claiming a method for connecting electrical cables to a junction box using electrical fittings. The agreement (2004 Injunction) permanently enjoined Bridgeport from making and selling certain products and their “colorable imitations”. The DC maintained jurisdiction to enforce the 2004 Injunction. The DC determined Bridgeport violated the agreement by selling “‘New Connectors’ [meeting] the limitations of the claim 1 of the ‘488 patent”, held it in contempt and “expressly enjoined the sale of New Connectors for the life of the ‘488 patent” but did not enter sanctions. Bridgeport appealed but the FC had to determine whether the injunction is “an otherwise final, appealable judgement” over which it had jurisdiction. It first considered whether the injunction was modified, in which case it would have jurisdiction under 28 USC § 1292(c)(1), but concluded the DC “simply interpreted or clarified its original 2004 injunction” (citing Aevoe Corp., FC 2013). The panel also considered whether it had jurisdiction under 28 USC § 1292(c)(2) (appeal must be “final except for accounting”) but concluded it did not as they would “have to extend the narrow exception to the final judgment rule…to contempt orders.” Thus, the appeal was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. 

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