Branch v. Federal Trade Commission, No. 8240.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtMAJOR and MINTON, Circuit , and LINDLEY
Citation141 F.2d 31
PartiesBRANCH v. FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION.
Decision Date25 March 1944
Docket NumberNo. 8240.

141 F.2d 31 (1944)

BRANCH
v.
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION.

No. 8240.

Circuit Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

February 29, 1944.

Reharing Denied March 25, 1944.


141 F.2d 32

Joseph G. Branch and Warren H. Orr, both of Chicago, for petitioner.

Joseph J. Smith, Jr., Federal Trade Commission, of Washington, D. C., for appellee.

Before MAJOR and MINTON, Circuit Judges, and LINDLEY, District Judge.

MINTON, Circuit Judge.

Joseph G. Branch has filed in this Court a petition to review and set aside a cease and desist order issued by the Federal Trade Commission pursuant to a complaint of the Commission charging him with engaging in unfair methods of competition and unfair and deceptive acts in commerce in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 52 Stat. 111, 15 U.S.C.A. § 41 et seq. Substantial evidence in the record supports the following statements of fact.

141 F.2d 33

The petitioner is an individual doing business as the Joseph G. Branch Institute of Engineering and Science, having his office and place of business at his residence in Chicago, Illinois. The petitioner conducts what he represents to be a correspondence school. For a number of years he has sold and distributed correspondence courses of study by mail in Latin-American countries. In the conduct of these courses, he has caused books, instructions, and lesson sheets to be transported to purchasers in these foreign countries. The purchaser prepares the lessons and returns them to the petitioner in Chicago, where they are graded. The courses range in price from $70 to $450 and are extensively advertised in newspapers published in various Central and South American countries. The petitioner also circulates letters, leaflets, circulars, catalogues, and other advertising material among his prospective students. He represents in this literature that he maintains an institute of engineering and science in Chicago, where it was founded in 1910. Petitioner's curriculum includes correspondence courses in a large number of professional and other educational subjects. He offers courses in agriculture, architecture, aviation, mechanical engineering, industrial chemistry, sugar chemistry, analytical industrial chemistry, dentistry, Diesel engineering, radio and television engineering, automotive engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, mining engineering, petroleum engineering, sanitary engineering, metallurgy, veterinary science, medicine, biology, bacteriology, law, pharmacy, and several other subjects. He represents that "The diplomas and degrees awarded by this worthy Institute are signed and sealed by the Officials of our Institute, acknowledged before a Notary Public, certified by the County Court Clerk and authenticated by the Secretary of the State of Illinois, U. S. A." and that it is "* * * the only officially recognized University in accordance with the laws of United States for extension courses (by correspondence)."

The petitioner's school is neither a university nor an institute. It has no entrance requirements, no resident students, no library, no laboratory, and no faculty. It has no one teaching anything. The staff consists of a day laborer, a messenger, eight girl translators, the petitioner's daughter, a Mexican by the name of Reyes who appears from the record to have a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Mexico, and the petitioner.

Although he is not an engineer and, of course, has no engineers associated with him, he offers courses in all of the most difficult branches of engineering. Although he is not a doctor or a dentist, he offers courses in medicine and dentistry. The petitioner is himself a college graduate and has been admitted to the practice of law.

The petitioner's method is to send his students textbooks and lessons to study. Examination questions based upon these lessons are sent to the students who answer them and return them to the petitioner, where they are corrected and graded. A diploma or degree is awarded to anyone who makes the passing grade of more than seventy-five per cent. If the student does not make a passing grade, he is sent a further examination and if he fails to pass this one, he is permitted to continue his studies until he passes. The evidence also shows that no university awards degrees for work done entirely by correspondence. The petitioner is not authorized by law or by any educational association to issue diplomas or give degrees. The petitioner did obtain from the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Illinois a provisional approval, pending inspection. Upon inspection, however, the petitioner's alleged school was disapproved of and the Superintendent's recognition was withdrawn by letter. The petitioner ignored this notice, however, and continued to represent that his courses of instruction were approved by the Department of Education of the State of Illinois. The so-called diplomas and degrees awarded by the petitioner have signatures attested to by public officials in such a manner as to make it appear that they have official sanction.

Upon evidence of this kind, the Commission issued its order that the petitioner cease and desist from using the words "Institute" or "University" in connection with the conduct of its business or representing that such business is either an institute or a university; from representing through the use of the word "University" that the petitioner's school is an educational institution of higher learning with the power to confer degrees; from representing through the issuance of so-called degrees and other documents that the school is an institution of higher learning; from using the words "officially recognized" or words of similar import in connection with

141 F.2d 34
his school, or otherwise representing directly or by implication that the school is recognized or approved as an institution of learning by the United States Government or by any State of the United States or any agencies thereof; from representing, through the affixing to diplomas and degrees of certificates of acknowledgment or...

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14 practice notes
  • McBee v. Delica Co., Ltd., No. 04-2733.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • August 2, 2005
    ...S.Ct. 924, 85 L.Ed. 1193 (1941) (Florida state criminal law banning taking of sponges from high seas) and Branch v. Federal Trade Comm'n, 141 F.2d 31, 35 (7th Cir.1944) (federal unfair competition law)); see also F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd., 124 S.Ct. at 2367; Cook v. Tait, 265 U.S. 47, 54-56,......
  • Vanity Fair Mills v. T. Eaton Co., No. 251
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • June 1, 1956
    ...v. Mead's Fine Bread Co., 1954, 348 U.S. 115, 75 S.Ct. 148, 99 L.Ed. 145; Branch v. Federal Trade Commission, 7 234 F.2d 642 Cir., 1944, 141 F.2d 31. Particularly is this true when a conspiracy is alleged with acts in furtherance of that conspiracy taking place in both the United States and......
  • Steele v. Bulova Watch Co, No. 38
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • December 22, 1952
    ...Blackmer v. United States, 1932, 284 U.S. 421, 436—437, 52 S.Ct. 252, 254, 76 L.Ed. 375; Branch v. Federal Trade Commission, 7 Cir., 1944, 141 F.2d 31. Resolution of the jurisdictional issue in this case therefore de- Page 283 pends on construction of exercised congressional power, not the ......
  • United States v. United States Alkali Export Ass'n, Civ. No. 24-464.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • August 12, 1949
    ...as applicable to our commerce between nations as it was to trade among the several States. Branch v. Federal Trade Commission, 7 Cir., 141 F.2d 31, A reading of the Webb Act in its entirety must therefore lead to the rejection of the claim that the cartel agreements involved herein are sanc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • McBee v. Delica Co., Ltd., No. 04-2733.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • August 2, 2005
    ...S.Ct. 924, 85 L.Ed. 1193 (1941) (Florida state criminal law banning taking of sponges from high seas) and Branch v. Federal Trade Comm'n, 141 F.2d 31, 35 (7th Cir.1944) (federal unfair competition law)); see also F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd., 124 S.Ct. at 2367; Cook v. Tait, 265 U.S. 47, 54-56,......
  • Vanity Fair Mills v. T. Eaton Co., No. 251
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • June 1, 1956
    ...v. Mead's Fine Bread Co., 1954, 348 U.S. 115, 75 S.Ct. 148, 99 L.Ed. 145; Branch v. Federal Trade Commission, 7 234 F.2d 642 Cir., 1944, 141 F.2d 31. Particularly is this true when a conspiracy is alleged with acts in furtherance of that conspiracy taking place in both the United States and......
  • Steele v. Bulova Watch Co, No. 38
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • December 22, 1952
    ...Blackmer v. United States, 1932, 284 U.S. 421, 436—437, 52 S.Ct. 252, 254, 76 L.Ed. 375; Branch v. Federal Trade Commission, 7 Cir., 1944, 141 F.2d 31. Resolution of the jurisdictional issue in this case therefore de- Page 283 pends on construction of exercised congressional power, not the ......
  • United States v. United States Alkali Export Ass'n, Civ. No. 24-464.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • August 12, 1949
    ...as applicable to our commerce between nations as it was to trade among the several States. Branch v. Federal Trade Commission, 7 Cir., 141 F.2d 31, A reading of the Webb Act in its entirety must therefore lead to the rejection of the claim that the cartel agreements involved herein are sanc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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