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Arlington Industries Inc. v. Bridgeport Fittings Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

March 29, 2017

ARLINGTON INDUSTRIES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
BRIDGEPORT FITTINGS, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM

          A. Richard Caputo United States District Judge

         Presently before the Court is a Motion filed by Arlington Industries, Inc. ("Arlington") seeking partial reconsideration of the Court's Memorandum and Order granting in part and denying in part Arlington's Motion for an Order to Show Cause. (Doc. 389.) Arlington asks the Court to modify its Order (Doc. 388) to permit Arlington to engage in limited discovery of the online marketing materials concerning the enjoined connectors at issue. Additionally, Arlington asks the Court to clarify its Order as to whether Arlington may take discovery of Bridgeport Fittings, Inc. ("Bridgeport") itself. For the reasons that follow, Arlington's Motion will be granted in part and denied in part. The Court will permit Arlington to engage in limited discovery on its claim regarding the online marketing materials. The Court will grant in part and deny in part Arlington's discovery requests, as specified in the accompanying Order.

         I. Relevant Background

         Because the factual and procedural history are both well known to the parties and stated in the Court's prior Memorandum (Doc. 387), they need not be repeated here other than to note the following:

         On March 19, 2013, this Court held Bridgeport in contempt of court for violating the Confession of Judgment and Injunction (Doc. 47) signed by Bridgeport and Arlington as part of a 2004 settlement agreement. Specifically, the Court found that Bridgeport's line of connectors known as the "Whipper-Snap" 380SP and 38ASP violated the 2004 injunction, and entered a new permanent injunction (the "Injunction") enjoining:

[Bridgeport], its officers, agents, attorneys, servants, employees, successors, assigns, and all those in active concert or participation with them... from directly or indirectly making, using, selling, offering for sale or import or causing or inducing others to make, use, sell, offer to sell, or import the Whipper-Snap 380SP and 38ASP model connectors during the remaining term of U.S. Patent No. 6, 335, 488.

         On May 10, 2016, Arlington filed a Motion for an Order to Show Cause why Bridgeport should not be held in contempt of Court. (Doc. 334.) Along with its Reply Brief filed on July 5, 2016 (Doc. 361), Arlington submitted a Second Declaration of Thomas Gretz, Arlington's Vice President ("Second Gretz Declaration") (Doc. 360), and a Declaration of Donald Amrbose, Arlington's National Sales Manager ("Ambrose Declaration") (Doc. 359). On July 19, 2016, Bridgeport filed a Motion for Leave to file a Sur-Reply Brief (Doc. 365) accompanied by a proposed Sur-Reply Brief (Doc. 365-1) and a Third Declaration of Paul Suzio, Bridgeport's President and Chief Operating Officer ("Third Suzio Declaration") (Doc. 365-2). The Court denied Bridgeport's Motion for Leave on July 21, 2016. (Doc. 367.) A preliminary hearing was scheduled for November 17, 2016. Prior to the hearing, counsel for Arlington noticed that only the first and last page of the Second Gretz Declaration had been filed. In order to correct this error, Arlington submitted a replacement Second Gretz Declaration on November 15, 2016 ("Replacement Second Gretz Declaration"). (See Doc. 390-2.)

         At the preliminary hearing, the Court granted Bridgeport permission to respond to the Replacement Second Gretz Declaration. (T.R. 8:8-14, Doc. 385.) On December 1, 2016, Bridgeport filed a Fourth Declaration of Paul Suzio as its response ("Fourth Suzio Declaration"). (Doc. 386.) The Fourth Suzio Declaration states in relevant part:

14. After the injunction issued, Bridgeport removed all marketing materials for, and images of, the enjoined connectors from its marketing materials and prevented them from being uploaded by a distributor. Distributors, however, could have uploaded an image onto their website prior to the injunction. Bridgeport has no way of knowing if this occurred and has no control over the actions of any distributor.
15. After the injunction issued, Bridgeport sent a notice to its sales representatives asking them to return all of their samples and inventories of various marketing materials to Mansir Printing. A true and correct copy of this email dated March 21, 2013, is attached as Exhibit B. Mansir Printing prints most of our collateral advertising materials and we commonly have obsolete materials sent to them for recycling and/or destruction.
16. Promptly after issuance of the injunction, and at least by March 20, 2013, Bridgeport also electronically notified both Trade Service and IDW that the Enjoined Products were now obsolete and so images and materials relating to the Enjoined Products were no longer available from those sources for download.

         On December7, 2016, the Court granted in part and denied in part Arlington's Motion for an Order to Show Cause. (Doc. 388.) The Court found that Arlington was permitted to pursue its allegations of contempt against Bridgeport only with respect to the "Demo Kits" containing an enjoined connector and the online marketing materials. The Court further held that Arlington was entitled to discovery on the Demo Kits allegations only.

         On December 21, 2016, Arlington filed the instant Motion for Partial Reconsideration. (Doc. 389.) Bridgeport filed its Brief in Opposition on January 9, 2017 (Doc. 393), and Arlington submitted its Reply Brief on January 23, 2017 (Doc. 398). The matter is now ripe for disposition.

         II. ...


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