Andrew Corp. v. Gabriel Electronics, Inc., Civ. No. 83-0372-P.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Court (Maine)
Citation735 F. Supp. 24
Docket NumberCiv. No. 83-0372-P.
Decision Date16 April 1990

John M.R. Paterson, Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson, Portland, Me., and Stephen G. Rudisill, Arnold, White & Durkee, Chicago, Ill., for plaintiff.

John H. Rich, Perkins, Thompson, Hinckley & Keddy, Portland, Me., and Charles E. Pfund, Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C., Boston, Mass., for defendant.


GENE CARTER, Chief Judge.

This action is here on remand from the Federal Circuit for a trial on damages for infringement by Defendant of Plaintiff's Knop patent. 847 F.2d 819. Plaintiff has moved both for an additional attachment and for a preliminary injunction to secure the damages which it seeks. In December 1989, Plaintiff sought and obtained an ex parte order of attachment and trustee process against Defendant in the amount of $3,000,000. Under the authority of that order, Plaintiff attached $1,739,000 worth of Defendant's assets. Although the original order has expired, the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure, which govern remedies for securing satisfaction of the judgment, Fed. R.Civ.P. 64, provide for the issuance of additional attachment and trustee process. Me.R.Civ.P. 4A(e). The Court is satisfied, as it was before, that Plaintiff is likely to recover significant damages from Defendant and that security in the amount of $3,000,000 is in order. The Court will, therefore, GRANT the requested motion for an order of additional attachment and trustee process with the proviso that the total attachment and trustee process under the two orders not exceed $3,000,000.

As a second line of security, Plaintiff has also sought a preliminary injunction

prohibiting the defendant from (1) declaring or distributing any further dividends, (2) making any further loans or "advances" to any affiliated company or entity, or to any shareholder, officer, director or employee, (3) making any further payments to H.E. Proctor Companies, Inc. for "management and accounting services," (4) making any further lease payments to affiliated companies, (5) increasing its present loans from existing lines of credit which are secured by any assets of Gabriel, (6) increasing the salary of any shareholder who is also an employee, and (7) distributing any real, personal or intangible property of the defendant to any affiliated company or entity, without the prior approval of this Court.

A preliminary injunction can be granted when it is necessary to protect a damages remedy. Teradyne, Inc. v. Mostek Corp., 797 F.2d 43, 53 (1st Cir.1986). The Court must, however, review the application under the criteria generally used for preliminary injunctions. Specifically, the Court must determine that plaintiff will suffer irreparable injury if the injunction is not granted; that the injury to plaintiff outweighs any harm caused to defendant by the grant of injunctive relief; that plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits; and that the public interest will not be adversely affected by the granting of the injunction. Id. at 51-52.

The Court finds that this is not an appropriate case for a preliminary injunction. The amount of damages to be awarded is, at this point, highly speculative and will depend on the Court's determination of the measure of damages. Given the attachment ordered above and the attachment of Gabriel's assets under the Court's prior order, the Court notes that Plaintiff has a measure of protection for any damage award it receives. The Court is not persuaded that further protection is necessary at this point.

Andrew asserts that Gabriel has an apparent intention to "siphon off all cash or unsecured assets to affiliates or shareholders." The affidavit of Frank Gemme, President of Gabriel, states, however, that Gabriel has suspended its payment of dividends and has no intention of issuing further dividends or of making loans or advances to affiliates until "it becomes clear to Gabriel that it has adequate means to satisfy the damage judgment returned by this Court." Neither the payments by Gabriel to Proctor Companies for managerial and accounting services, an arrangement which predates this litigation by two years, nor Gabriel's below market rate lease of both realty and equipment from HEPCo indicate to the Court a deceptive intention on the part of Gabriel sufficient to warrant the issuance of injunctive relief.

Finally, it appears to the Court that an injunction like that proposed by Plaintiff would have significant harmful effects on Gabriel's business. If Gabriel were to have to find new equipment, new managerial and accounting services, and new space for its operations, its business could be seriously impaired. Thus, it appears that the potential harm to Defendant from the proposed injunction is greater than the potential harm to Plaintiff if no injunction is granted.

After Defendant filed its response to the Motion for a Preliminary Injunction, Plaintiff filed a Motion for a Partial Stay for its Motion for a Preliminary Injunction and to Allow Discovery.1 The motion seeks to have the Court stay its decision on the Motion for Preliminary Injunction to allow Plaintiff to conduct discovery on Defendant's...

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4 cases
  • Cardente v. Fleet Bank of Maine, Inc., Civ. No. 92-30-P-C.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Court (Maine)
    • 16 Junio 1992
    ...Springfield Terminal Railway Co. v. United Transportation Union, 767 F.Supp. 333, 355-56 (D.Me.1991); Andrew Corp. v. Gabriel Electronics, Inc., 735 F.Supp. 24, 27 n. 1 (D.Me. 1990), aff'd, 930 F.2d 37 (Fed.Cir.1991). Although Defendants' counsel has appropriately noted Plaintiffs' counsel'......
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Texas
    • 28 Febrero 1994
    ...United States v. Certain Real Property in Waterboro, et al., 812 F.Supp. 259, 260 (D.Me. 1991); Andrew Corp. v. Gabriel Electronics, Inc., 735 F.Supp. 24, 26 n. 1 (D.Me.1990). The Court notes that although the Nalty court made its ruling in terms of Rule 72(b), the same reasoning would now ......
  • Winters v. FDIC, Civ. No. 92-94-P-C.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Court (Maine)
    • 29 Enero 1993
    ...the opposition was due on December 14, 1992. See Cardente v. Fleet Bank, 146 F.R.D. 13 (D.Me.1993); Andrew Corp. v. Gabriel Electronics, Inc., 735 F.Supp. 24, 27 n. 1 (D.Me.1990). The fact that Plaintiff's delay in filing the objection was slight, only two days, weighs in favor of allowing ......
  • US v. Certain Real Property in Waterboro, Civ. No. 90-0224 P.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Court (Maine)
    • 6 Febrero 1991
    ...654 F.Supp. 1315 (S.D.Ala.1987). See also C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1171. Andrew Corp. v. Gabriel Electronics, Inc., 735 F.Supp. 24, 26 n. 1 (D.Me.1990). In this case, Claimant's motion was filed on Wednesday, December 26, 1990. The ten day response time, exclu......

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