The long-running patent battle in the courts between Arlington Industries and Bridgeport Fittings is in the news again, with both companies issuing press releases this week regarding their sides of the patent issue that continue to be under dispute. According to a 9/3/2014 press release from Bridgeport Fittings Inc., Stratford, Conn.:
“The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed that several claims of Arlington Industries’ ‘831 Duplex patent are invalid. This includes the only claim Arlington alleged that Bridgeport’s Whipper-Snap duplex connectors infringed.
“Bridgeport therefore ultimately expects to receive summary judgment of invalidity with regard to the ‘831 Patent in the pending litigation with Arlington. Bridgeport requested reexamination of the ‘831 Duplex patent nearly eight years ago, after Arlington alleged that Bridgeport’s Whipper-Snap duplex connector infringed that patent. The Patent Examiner and subsequently the Board of Patent Appeals and now the Federal Circuit agreed with Bridgeport that the main claims of the ‘831 Patent were invalid, including the only claim that Arlington alleged Bridgeport’s Duplex connectors infringed.
Del Auray, CEO of Bridgeport Fittings said in the release, “I am pleased with the final outcome and the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals to invalidate the major claims of this patent and we will continue to sell our successful Duplex Whipper-Snap products.”
In response to this press release, Arlington Industries made the following statement in a company press release dated 9/4/2014:
“In a recent press release, Bridgeport Fittings claims a reexamination-based decision on only one of Arlington Industries’ patents – the ’831 patent – is a game-changer in a pending litigation with Arlington. Bridgeport falsely states that the decision invalidated the “only claim that Arlington alleged Bridgeport’s Duplex connectors infringe.”
In reality, Arlington accused Bridgeport’s Duplex Connectors of infringing patents and, in April 2014, Bridgeport’s Duplex Connectors (catalog 3838ASP and 3838SP) were found to infringe the other Arlington patent – the ’050 patent – in the very same case. Arlington is currently pursuing damages in the amount of $1.1 million in the duplex case. Contrary to Bridgeport’s press release, this judgment is not affected by the recent reexamination decision on the ’831 patent.
“In a related litigation, the court found Bridgeport’s Whipper-Snap Connectors, (catalog 38ASP and 380SP), infringed one of Arlington’s patents on its SNAP-2-IT connectors (catalog 38AST and 380ST) and ordered Bridgeport to take them off the market until 2018. The court ordered Bridgeport to pay Arlington over $2.34 million to reimburse it for its lost profits and attorneys’ fees. Bridgeport posted a bond on August 7, 2014 for that amount. This $2.34 million judgment is in addition to over $6.7 million that Bridgeport has paid Arlington in the past few years for violating Arlington’s patents.”
Arlington Industries released several court docments for public review, including the two that can be found through the links below: