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Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc.

Fed Cir Lacks Jurisdiction to Hear Non-Final “Accounting” Orders, Notwithstanding Jurisdiction to Hear Orders “Final Except for an Accounting”

Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., (Fed. Cir. May 26, 2017) (LOURIE, Moore, Hughes) (D. Nev.: Gordon) (3 of 5 stars)

Fed Cir dismisses appeal of decision awarding, but not actually computing, prejudgment and postjudgment interest, and supplemental damages. The appealed-from decision, entered in 2016, followed a 2013 judgment of Pulse’s infringement that was previously appealed. The Fed Cir did not have jurisdiction over Pulse’s appeal from the 2016 decision concerning prejudgment interest. The opinion analyzes 28 U.S.C. § 1292(c), which permits appeals from judgments that are “final except for an accounting.” That the Fed Cir had jurisdiction to adjudicate an appeal from the 2013 judgment was “not dispositive of whether we have jurisdiction in this appeal” per Pandrol, 320 F.3d 1354 (Fed. Cir. 2003); jurisdiction for each appeal must be separately established. In this appeal, the 2016 order was neither “final” nor “final except for an accounting.” It was not “final” because the court had not yet determined the amount of prejudgment interest, nor the computational method to be sued in that determination. And although the 2016 order was part of the “accounting” that followed the 2013 order, per Alfred E. Mann Foundation, 841 F.3d 1334, “§ 1292(c)(2) ‘does not go so far as to permit us to consider a non-final order’ that is related to the accounting.” Op. at 9. The opinion notes that Pulse has preserved its right to file a “proper appeal concerning a final award of prejudgment interest” at a later time. Id. at 10.

KEYWORDS: APPELLATE JURISDICTION; MOTION TO DISMISS; ACCOUNTING