Cold Metal Process Company v. United Engineering & Foundry Company

PETITIONER: Cold Metal Process Company
RESPONDENT: United Engineering & Foundry Company
LOCATION:

DOCKET NO.: 76
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1955-1956)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

ARGUED: Feb 28, 1956
DECIDED: Jun 11, 1956

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Cold Metal Process Company v. United Engineering & Foundry Company

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 28, 1956 (Part 1) in Cold Metal Process Company v. United Engineering & Foundry Company

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 28, 1956 (Part 2) in Cold Metal Process Company v. United Engineering & Foundry Company

Earl Warren:

Mr. Webb, you may proceed.

William H. Webb:

Yes, Your Honor.

Going now to the facts of this case, in November 1934, Cold Metal filed its complaint seeking inter alia specific performance of a contract that have been entered into in 1927 between it and United and under which United was to acquire certain rights under a patent which it later acted and which became patent 195.

United sought dismissal of that action in its answer.

In January 1935, there was a hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction to restrain United from the performance of certain acts which we believe were improper in view of the contractual relationships existing between the parties.

The injunction was denied.

That was reversed however by the Court of Appeals.

The case went back then to the District Court and in view of the holdings of the Court of Appeals when the case was there the first time Cold Metal filed a supplemental complaint in which it sought alternatively rescission of the contract for specific performance.

The case came on for final hearing before the District Court in October of 1937.

And in January 1938, the District Court rendered an opinion denying rescission of the contract and granting specific performance.

In June of 1939, the Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court as to no rescission and affirmed the granting of specific performance.

Then in June 1941, after the mandate had gone down, United moved for a leave to file what it called a second supplemental answer and counterclaim.

And in that pleading where they filed at that time, it sought substantially the same relief as it now seeks in its pending counterclaim.

In February 1942, that motion was denied in an opinion which is the Court of the 43 F. Supp.

Then the decree on mandate was not entered immediately but it was entered in September of 1943.

And that decree provided that Cold Metal was entitled to recover royalties from United under this contract and that decree appointed a master to determine the amount that was due under the contract and the rate at which the royalty payments were to be made.

There was an accounting held before the master and in that accounting, one of the contentions which was made by United was that there was a failure of consideration.

And United, in support of its defensive failure of consideration, asserted substantially the same things as it has asserted in this counterclaim which I am going to come to.

Hugo L. Black:

Is this the first time the case was just before the Court of Appeals?

William H. Webb:

No.

The Court -- the case has been to the Court of Appeals on three different occasions.

In 79 F.2d, I believe, it was the --

Hugo L. Black:

Is that cited in your brief?

William H. Webb:

Yes.

And then in 107 F.2d was before the Court of Appeals, and then it was there again in a decision reported at 190 F.2d and then, of course, it got there on this recent appeal.

So, it's four times instead of three, Your Honor.

Hugo L. Black:

Did they face on the merits of the controversy before the accounting was held?

They did, Your Honor.

They passed on the merits of the controversy granting specific performance to Cold Metal.

Namely, they ordered that Cold Metal under the agreement was entitled to recover royalties from United under this contract which had been entered into.