HI5015 LEGAL ASPECTS OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND ENTERPRISE
Metro Industries V Sammi Corp
In this report, the study of the research, reading, and understanding of the selected case will be done. The selected case for this report is the case of Metro Industries v. Sammi Corporations. The selected party of this case is the Metro Industries. The report has begun with the background of the dispute or case. Then a brief discussion on the facts of the case has been done. The legal issues presented in the case has been assessed and evaluated. The report has also included the argument of individual parties with a particular emphasis on the argument of the selected party which is Metro Industries. Thereafter, the decision of tribunal has been mentioned as the part of this report. At the end of the report, a discussion and evaluation of the importance of the case in international law have been done. The Metro Industries alleges that a Korean design registration system constituted a market division that is per se violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
The Metro Industries is an importer and wholesaler of kitchenware. Metro Industries sued the Sammi Corporations and two of its American subsidiaries (Casemine.com, 2018). Sammi Corporation is the South Korean exporting company. Metro Industries Inc. is a wholesaler and importer of the kitchenware and they sued the Sammi Corp. Sammi Corp. is a South Korean exporting company and they have two American subsidiaries which are aligned with inter alia. Inter alia is a Korean design system of registration which is able to give the Korean producers of hollowware the exclusive right of exporting the particular design for hollowware for three years (Caselaw.findlaw.com, 2018). This can constitute a market division and that is the per se of the violation of section 1 of the act of Sherman Antitrust, 15 U.S.C. Metro actually alleges that the Sammi Corp. uses the registration system in the year 1983 for preventing Metro and other companies of kitchenware importers from the process of acquiring the Korean made steamers of stainless steel from any of the competitors of Sammi Corp. in Korea (Casemine.com, 2018). As a result of this, Metro appeals the grant of the district court in respect to the case of Vollrath Co. v. Sammi Corp. This is another case of an importer which sued Sammi Corp. for violating section 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act.
Metro is a distributor and producer of the kitchenware products and has started a business of stainless steel kitchenware in the year 1977. They import mixing bowls from the Korean supplier named Haidong. In the next year, the company has started to buy the bowls from the Sammi Corp. and they continue their business for several years. As a result of this, the business has expanded and includes the other types of kitchenware. Thus, by the year 1981, selling and importing the kitchenware of stainless steel become the core business activities of Metro. On the other hand, Sammi Corp. is a large trading company of Korea who exports their products, like stainless steel steamers, to the United States and other countries (Caselaw.findlaw.com, 2018). The company is also a member of Holloware association which grants the design and patterns the registration rights for the specific products based on their appearance, shape, and color of the particular products. It must be noted that the registration committee consists of the member from different types of manufacturing companies, patent attorneys, trading companies and three members from the government organizations of Korea (Casemine.com, 2018).
Sammi Corp. as a trading company can only have the hold of pattern design right and this has to be jointly with the manufacturer. However, as per Metro, in the late of the year 1981, it has raised the idea of making a line of stainless steel steamers with the Sammi Corp and therefore, they provide them the models for developing the samples and preparing the final supply of the steamers. Sammi also registers the design and begins the supply. Though, the company, Metro, has experienced a disruption in the deliveries during the year 1983. In this respect, metro has alleged that its attempt for ordering the stainless steel steamers from the other companies is blocked by Sammi Corp. At last, December of the year 1983, Metro has filled a comp; leaned against Sammi and two of its subsidiaries in America in the United States District Court for the Central District of California as they highlight that Sammi has violated the Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act.
The district court started the bench trial on the claims of Metro in June of 1986. The essence of the case against the Sammi Corp. and its subsidiaries was that they had been engaging in the case of predatory pricing along with the intention of monopolizing the markets of steamers of stainless steel and the mixing bowls. After the days of trial on these particular issues of the case of predatory pricing, the two subsidiaries of Sammi Corp. have filled the motion for the involuntary dismissal which is pursuant to the Rule 41 (b) of the Civil Procedures Federal Rules (Casemine.com, 2018). It is on the ground that Metro fails to present a prima facie case and cannot be able to present this type of case with any of the witnesses. In respect to this, the district court manages to take the rule 41 (b) motions along with an earlier motion for performing the summary judgment under the advisement. After that, they proposed the remainder of the trial of Metro which is pending the decisions of the court on the motions of Sammi Corp.
However, there was a second importer of the kitchenware of Korea named Vollrath Company. They have also filled a similar case in the same district court against Sammi Corp and their two American subsidiaries (Van Phan, Hakola and Koskela, 2017). In case of Metro, the District Court actually granted the motion of Sammi for dismissing the lack of private jurisdiction. Though, in the year 1988, the same court has granted the motion of Vollrath Company for reconsidering the jurisdiction of the court over the defendant of both the case of Metro and Vollrath Company (Caselaw.findlaw.com, 2018). Therefore, the motion for involuntary dismissal of the defendant is denied without any prejudice in the year 1988. The company, Sammi Corp and its two American subsidiaries are alleged for the violation of the sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act and the California Unfair Trade Practices Act. These are based on the accusations of output restrictions and predatory pricing (Casemine.com, 2018).
In the year 1989, the jury has returned a verdict which is in the favor of Vollrath Company which awards $9478676 in respect to the damages on the claims of federal and $711803 in respect to the damages on the claims of state law. As well as, the defendant has filled the motions for the summary judgment in the year 1990 after the JNOV of district Court who has already favored the appeal of Vollrath Company. It is identified that, immediately after the decision of Vollrath Company, the district court managed to schedule a status conference in regards to the case of Metro in the year 1993 (Caselaw.findlaw.com, 2018). In relation to the decision of the Vollrath Company case, the company Metro started to argue a new theory (Casemine.com, 2018). It states that the design registration system of Korea was illegal under the section of 1 of the Sherman Act. Finally, in the year 1994, Sammi has filed a motion stating of dismissal of entire claims to rules 56 (b) and 52 (c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Regarding this, Metro has filed a cross-motion and opposition for the partial summary judgment on the portion of liability of the judgment of the market division. However, the district court has denied the cross-section of Metro and granted the motion of Sammy for the summary judgment (Allensworth, 2014, p.1919).
Metro has appealed only of the grant of the district court for the summary judgment in favor of Sammi on the Sherman Act of Metro, market division claims and the denial of cross section motion of Metro by the court (Ahlqvist and Moisio, 2014, p.23). All of them are for summary judgment. Metro has alleged the Holloware Association of Korea and their registration system which managed to constitute an agreement of naked market division which is also per se illegal under the sections of 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act (Caselaw.findlaw.com, 2018). Therefore, in this respect, the company, Metro, has argued that a close examination of the impact of the competition registration system in the country is not that much necessary for finding a violation of section 1 of Sherman Act (Casemine.com, 2018). This is because it occurs outside of the US which is also the violation of the Sherman Act if it has adverse impacts on the commerce of the focused country. Therefore it can be said that the per se analysis is not that much appropriate.
The district court grant of the judgment summary is in favor of the company Sammi Corp an as well as it denies the cross-motion for the summary judgment of Metro. The reasons for this type of decision are analyzed further. The per se treatment is not appropriate in this particular case. Generally, the violation of section 1 of the Sherman Act can be determined through the application of case by case of the conventional rule of reason. In this case, a factfinder must weigh all of the environments of a specific case to decide whether the restrictive practice is prohibited by imposing any other unreasonable restraints within the competition. This includes that the Korean Registration system is notably not the illegal per se (Caselaw.findlaw.com, 2018).
On the other hand, it is also true that foreign conduct cannot be checked under the rules and regulations of per se. The decisions also state that the inquiries of jurisdiction are very much necessary during the claims of Sherman At is based entirely on foreign conduct. It is also true that Metro cannot show any type of substantial effect of the anticompetitive in antitrust injury in the US (Leagle.com, 2018). As well as it must be noted that the record of Vollrath Company manages to demonstrate that the company Metro cannot make the commonly highlighted situational showing the negative impacts on the existing competition. This is because the record mages to establish a proper market. Therefore, as a matter of law, there were not so sufficient pieces of evidence which are covered with the appropriate products and the penetrated and new markets and at last to the regrowth of the economic power in the Corner bench market.
In the world of international business, the respective law is very much important to control the entire business market and the situations. In the era of import and export, it is very much necessary to have collaborations with others. In the case of Metro Industries Inc V. Sammi Corporation, the company has communication problems and pricing issues (Caselaw.findlaw.com, 2018). Therefore, it can be said that the other international exporting and importing companies will be able to identify the different aspects of International law like sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. Thus, it can be able to avoid any of the business and legal issues from the penetrated market.
The collateral estoppel actually not bars Metro from the opposition to the motion for Sammi in respect to the summary judgment on the record of Vollrath records. However, they have shared the same feelings in the same court of law. However, the facts of the two cases are identical and therefore it is indistinguishable from the highlighted facts of Vollrath. It is actually concluded that the Metro cannot be able to recover for any of their alleged violation of section 1 and 2 of the Sherman Acts.
Ahlqvist, T., and Moisio, S. (2014). Neoliberalisation in a Nordic state: From cartel polity towards a corporate polity in Finland. New Political Economy, 19(1), 21-55.
Allensworth, R.H., 2014. The Influence of the Areeda-Hovenkamp Treatise in the Lower Courts and What It Means for Institutional Reform in Antitrust. Iowa L. Rev., 100, p.1919.
Caselaw.findlaw.com (2018), METRO INDUSTRIES INC v. SAMMI CORPORATION, Available at https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1339772.html [Accessed on 01 Sep 2018]
Casemine.com (2018), Metro Industries, INC. Plaintiff-appellant v. Sammi Corporation, Available at https://www.casemine.com/judgement/us/5914bce8add7b0493479f3fd [Accessed on 01 Sep 2018]
Leagle.com (2018), METRO INDUSTRIES, INC. v. SAMMI CORP., Available at https://www.leagle.com/decision/199692182f3d8391770 [Accessed on 01 Sep 2018]
Van Phan, V., Hakola, S. and Koskela, T., Nokia Technologies Oy, 2017. Mode switching. U.S. Patent 9,584,951.
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