Restraining Order binding upon the parties to the action. On July 2, 1970 the plaintiff filed an action (C.A. No. 70-1794) for contempt against the defendants for violation of the Court's Restraining Order of March 5, 1968. Pentronix has been absorbed by different corporations and all the successors have had notice of the Restraining Order.
On March 18, 1970 this Court in an Opinion, 311 F. Supp. 910 (1970), found that the individual defendants and the corporate defendant, Pentronix, had violated plaintiff's trade secrets involving magnetic memory cores. The plaintiff was ordered to submit an appropriate form of a final judgment for consideration by the Court. In April, 1970 the plaintiff did submit a proposed order in which the plaintiff asked the Court to issue a permanent injunction, destruction of certain machinery, an accounting before a Special Master and payment of all costs by the defendant. Subsequently, numerous attempts were tried to settle this case, but this approach seems impossible at this juncture.
Final judgment has never been entered on the main action (C.A. No. 43,109). Therefore, the Court will enter final judgment so that the defendants can avail themselves of the appellate process if they choose to go this route. This approach still leaves the plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on the contempt action outstanding.
There have been cases which have held that civil contempt proceedings are abated by a termination of the proceedings out of which they arose. United States v. United Mine Workers, 330 U.S. 258, 294, 67 S. Ct. 677, 91 L. Ed. 884 (1946); Gompers v. Bucks Stove and Range Co., 221 U.S. 418, 451, 31 S. Ct. 492, 55 L. Ed. 797 (1911); United States v. International Union, 88 U.S. App. D.C. 341, 190 F.2d 865, 874 (1951); Parker v. United States, 153 F.2d 66, 71 (1st Cir. 1946); Pacific Gamble Robinson Co. v. Minneapolis and St. Louis Ry. Co., 92 F. Supp. 352, 356 (D.C. Minn. 1950) and Harris v. Texas and Pacific Ry. Co., 196 F.2d 88, 90 (7th Cir. 1952).
However, in Backo v. Local 281, United Bro. of Carpenters and Joiners, 438 F.2d 176, 182 (2nd Cir. 1970), the Court drew a distinction between civil contempt of a coercive nature and civil contempt of a compensatory nature. The Court in Backo, supra, on page 182 stated:
. . . Where a civil contempt proceeding is coercive in nature and seeks to enforce an interlocutory order, it abates when the proceedings out of which it arises are terminated. Shillitani v. United States, 384 U.S. 364, 370, 371, 86 S. Ct. 1531, 16 L. Ed. 2d 622 (1966); F.T.C. v. Stroiman, 428 F.2d 808 (8th Cir. 1970); Harris v. Texas and Pacific Ry., 196 F.2d 88 (7th Cir. 1952); De Parcq v. United States District Court, 235 F.2d 692, 697 (8th Cir. 1956). No such rule applies to purely compensatory civil contempt judgments.
This principle is illustrated in Parker v. United States, 135 F.2d 54 (1st Cir. 1943), cert. denied 320 U.S. 737, 64 S. Ct. 35, 88 L. Ed. 436 (1943), where the court found the defendant liable, in a post-judgment civil contempt proceeding for damages due to disobedience of both an interlocutory and final order. See also Vincent v. Local 294, International Brotherhood of Teamsters etc., 424 F.2d 124, 129 (2d Cir. 1970);
but see Pacific Gamble Robinson v. Minneapolis and St. Louis Ry. Co. 92 F. Supp. 352 (D. Minn. 1950).