Arlington Industries Wins Latest Round in Court Battle with Bridgeport Fittings

July 8, 2011
In one of the electrical market’s longest-running patent infringement battles, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., last week upheld a permanent injunction against Bridgeport Fittings Inc., Stratford, Conn., for a number of its Whipper-Snap Connector products. Bridgeport said the injunction is immediate and in effect until the expiration of Arlington’s ’050 patent on Dec. 4.

In one of the electrical market’s longest-running patent infringement battles, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., last week upheld a permanent injunction against Bridgeport Fittings Inc., Stratford, Conn., for a number of its Whipper-Snap Connector products. A Bridgeport press release said the injunction is immediate and in effect until the expiration of Arlington’s ’050 patent on Dec. 4.

The Bridgeport Fittings press release also stated, “This court ruling does not imply either party has won or lost any of the lawsuits, as one case remains to be heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals and the other case was sent back to the District Court for further action.

“For the connectors affected by the injunction, Bridgeport will of course comply with the court order. Bridgeport’s Whipper-Snap Connector products are covered by a number of Bridgeport’s own patents and [we] will begin producing and offering for sale the affected products on Dec. 5, 2011.”

A press statement on the court decision by Arlington Industries Inc., Scranton, Pa., said, “Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in favor of Arlington Industries, Inc. against Bridgeport Fittings Inc., requiring Bridgeport to take 30 of its Whipper-Snap Connectors off the market immediately. The 30 Whipper-Snap Connectors were previously found by a jury to infringe Arlington’s Patent on its SNAP-TITE and SNAP2IT Connectors.

This ruling affirms Arlington’s right to a permanent injunction which prohibits Bridgeport from making or selling the 30 infringing Whipper-Snap Connectors. Arlington was also awarded over
$3.5 million in lost profits caused by Bridgeport’s infringing sales.

“The permanent injunction specifically covers the following Bridgeport Whipper-Snap Connectors: 38ASP, GF38SP, SG38ASP, 8400SP, 850SP, 651SP, 802SP, 841SP, GF50SP, 380SP, SG38SP, 846SP, SG38MCIA, SG38SPL, 840SP, 4502SP, 4501SP, 845SPL, BL16ASP, 851ASP, 845SP, 802MCIA, BL16MCIA, 851SP, 845ASP, 8400MCIA, BL16SP, 84690SP, 651SPX, and 802ASP.”

The Arlington Industries press release announcing the court decision also said that by denying Bridgeport Fittings’ latest motion, the Federal Circuit found Bridgeport did not establish a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal from the jury’s patent infringement verdict. The Arlington press release also said, “The Federal Circuit also affirmed a lower court’s finding that the public interest would not be harmed by removing Bridgeport (Fittings’) products from the market because electrical distributors and contractors can instead purchase Arlington’s patented SNAP-TITE and SNAP2IT Connectors.”

Tom Stark, president of Arlington Industries, was pleased with the latest court decision and said in the company’s press release, “Bridgeport has infringed Arlington’s SNAP-TITE patent for the past 10 years. In fact, this is the second time Bridgeport has been required to take its infringing products off the market. We are pleased the Federal Circuit agreed with us, again, in this latest patent dispute with Bridgeport. Earlier this year, the Court ruled in favor of Arlington in its case against Bridgeport’s Whipper-Snap Duplex Connectors. We plan to file for an injunction against those products very soon.”

For past Electrical Marketing coverage on the Arlington Industries-Bridgeport Fittings court cases, go to www.electricalmarketing.com.