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Arlington Industries, Inc. v. Bridgeport Fittings

August 28, 2009

ARLINGTON INDUSTRIES, INC, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BRIDGEPORT FITTINGS, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Caputo

MEMORANDUM

Presently before the Court is Plaintiff Arlington Industries, Inc.'s Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. 330). For the reasons stated in this Memorandum, the Court will deny Plaintiff's motion.

The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 ("federal question").

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Arlington and Defendant Bridgeport are competitors in the field of electrical connectors. (Def.'s Statement of Material Facts in Support of Mot. For Summ. J. ¶ 49, Doc. 114; Pl.'s Res. To Pl.'s Statement of Material Facts ¶ 49, Doc. 154.) This litigation involves the patents of two (2) of these electrical connectors. The first of these patents is U.S. Patent No. 5,266, 050 ("the '050 Patent"), which was issued to Messrs. O'Neill, Gretz, and Start on November 30, 1993. (Doc. 114 ¶ 1; Doc. 154 ¶ 1.) The second of these patents is U.S. Patent No. 6,521,831 ("the '831 Patent"), which was issued to Mr. Gretz on February 18, 2003. (Doc. 114 ¶ 2; Doc. 154 ¶ 2.) The '050 Patent is entitled "Quick-Connect Fitting for Electrical Junction Box." (Second Am. Compl. Ex. B, Doc. 102.) The '050 Patent is for an invention which relates to connectors for electrical junction boxes, specifically to an improved connector that can be easily attached to an anchored junction box by pushing with one hand. (Id.) The '831 Patent is entitled "Duplex Electrical Connector with Spring Steel Cable Retainer." (Second Am. Compl. Ex. A, Doc. 102.) The '831 Patent is for an invention which relates to cable terminations and more particularly to duplex or two-wire cable terminations that snap into place and include snap-on cable retainers, neither of which requires twisting for locking. (Id.) Plaintiff Arlington alleged that Defendant Bridgeport's products infringed upon Claim 8 of the '050 Patent and Claim 1 of the '831 Patent. (Doc. 114 ¶ 3; Doc. 154 ¶ 3.)

On December 4, 2007, the Court issued its claim construction ruling, construing certain terms at issue in the '050 Patent and the '831 Patent. (Doc. 114 ¶ 5; Doc. 154 ¶ 5; Mem. & Order, Dec. 4, 2007, Doc. 98.) One of the terms at issue in Claim 8 of the '050 Patent was a "spring metal adaptor." (Doc. 114 ¶ 6; Doc. 154 ¶ 6.) The Court construed this term to mean "a split ring or split spring metal adaptor so as to allow the diameter to easily change." (Doc. 114 ¶ 7; Doc. 98 at 32.) The Court also concluded that the limitation of "spring steel adaptor" in Claim 1 of the '831 Patent is subject to the same analysis as the "spring metal adaptor" in the '050 Patent. (Doc. 114 ¶ 11; Doc. 98 at 30.)

On September 18, 2008, the Court granted three (3) of Defendant Bridgeport's motions for summary judgment with respect to the '050 Patent. (Doc. 307.) After lifting a previously-instituted stay on claims involving '831 Patent, (Doc. 325), the Court also granted Defendant Bridgeport's motions for summary judgment with respect to the '831 Patent on May 8, 2009. (Doc. 328.) On May 22, 2009, Plaintiff Arlington filed the current Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. 330) along with a corresponding Brief in Support (Doc. 331). Defendant Bridgeport responded with a Brief in Opposition (Doc. 333) on June 2, 2009, Arlington filed its Reply Brief (Doc. 336) on June 12, 2009, and the Court heard oral arguments from Plaintiff and Defendant on August 5, 2009. Accordingly, the Court believes that the current motion has been thoroughly briefed and argued and is now ripe for disposition.

LEGAL STANDARD

I. Rule 59(e)

A motion for reconsideration is governed by Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which allows a party to move to alter or amend a judgment within ten days of entry. FED. R. CIV. P. 59(e). The purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence. Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir.1985). A judgment may be altered or amended if the party seeking reconsideration establishes at least one of the following grounds: "(1) an intervening change in controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court granted the motion . . . ; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice." Max's Seafood Café, by Lou-Ann, Inc., v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir.1999). "A motion for reconsideration is not to be used as a means to reargue matters already argued and disposed of or as an attempt to relitigate a point of disagreement between the Court and the litigant." Ogden v. Keystone Residence, 226 F. Supp.2d 588, 606 (M.D. Pa. 2002). "[R]econsideration motions may not be used to raise new arguments or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment." Hill v. Tammac Corp., Civ. A. No. 05-1148, 2006 WL 529044, at *2 (M.D. Pa. Mar. 3, 2006). Lastly, the reconsideration of a judgment is an extraordinary remedy, and such motions should be granted sparingly. D'Angio v. Borough of Nescopeck, 56 F. Supp.2d 502, 504 (M.D. Pa. 1999).

II. Rule 60(b)(6)

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) allows the Court to relieve a party from a final judgment, order, or proceeding in cases of:

(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;

(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for ...


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